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Co-architect of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland to present Annual Reconciliation Lecture today
2015-03-03

Colm McGivern, Director of the British Council in South Africa

To emphasise the University of the Free State’s Human Project, the UFS has positioned itself as an institution that is recognised across the world not only for excellence in academic achievement, but also in human reconciliation. The Annual Reconciliation Lecture, whose organising committee is chaired by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, is a unique and major initiative to enhance this important vision of our university.

This year, Colm McGivern, Director of the British Council in South Africa, will present the Fourth Annual Reconciliation Lecture at the Centenary Hall on Thursday 5 March 2015.

Colm McGivern was brought up in Northern Ireland at the height of the conflict that has come to be known as the ‘Troubles.’ His early experiences of conflict, sectarianism, and living in a divided society have driven his career, and his personal commitment to peace-building and promoting reconciliation.  He was a student leader at Queen’s University in Belfast during the time of the first IRA Ceasefires in the 1990s, and then worked in the Higher and Further Education sectors, and at a community level with peace-building groups across Northern Ireland and internationally. He was Director of the British Council in Northern Ireland for four years and, in that role, facilitated discussions between divided communities before and during the Ceasefires and Peace Process, with a particular focus on bringing young people together across Ireland.

In his role as Director of the British Council, McGivern has created thousands of cultural and educational connections between the UK and SA. Every year, he ensures that young South Africans can get access to educational and cultural opportunities that are life-changing while deepening their connection with the UK.

A highlight of this year’s lecture will be a performance by musicians from the Odeion School of Music, Tumi Ntantiso (soprano), Bertha Menyatso (mezzo-soprano), Malefetsane Mofokeng (baritone), and Cezarre Strydom (piano). They will be performing works from ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ by Jacques Offenbach, among others.

Members of the public and media are welcome.

RSVP: Jo-Anne Naidoo, e-mail: Naidooja@ufs.ac.za

Date: Thursday 5 March 2015
Time: 17:30 (please be seated by 17:15)
Venue: Centenary Complex, Bloemfontein Campus

 

The event will be streamed live on: http://livestream.ufs.ac.za/

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