BU academics pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

Bournemouth University academics have paid tribute in the media to former South African President and human rights activist Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5 aged 95.

Cliff Van Wyk, lecturer in creative strategy and analysis at BU, was featured on BBC South Today and BBC Radio Solent talking about his experiences of Mandela.

Cliff, who is South African, spoke of being at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in the country, when Nelson Mandela came onto the pitch wearing the kit of the South African union rugby team, known as the Springboks, which had previously been seen as a symbol of apartheid.

“When Mandela came out in the springbok jersey and embraced Pienaar, this was the defining moment for me,” Cliff said.

“What I saw in that man was an incredible amount of basic human goodness and dignity. He came in and the pure moral and political stature of the man is what really drove it”.

He added: “The most significant part was that when we left the stadium it took us ten hours to get home but the distance was only four or five miles, purely because of this outpouring of joy”.

Darren Lilleker, leader of MA International Political Communication at BU, appeared on radio station Wave 105, and reflected on the impact that Mandela’s life had on his own development.

He said: “He was all about reconciliation and building a civil society.

“I was sixteen, with the usual cares of a sixteen-year old boy, with some interest in history and politics but limited. Apartheid was a word that was known and I remember happily signing petitions against it.”

He added: “His release six years later was part of the new dawning of democracy, of freedom…he showed the world a very important lesson. It is not revenge but reconciliation that rebuilds a society; his path to power was not on the back of civil war but a desire for civil society.”

Student wardens scheme gains widespread regional media coverage

The introduction of BU student community wardens to work with residents in Winton gained widespread regional media coverage across TV, radio and print.

BBC South Today came to Winton to film the wardens in action, knocking on doors and speaking with residents and students about potential issues.

An interview with student warden Coralie Wood and Winton Community Forum chairman Pat Oakley was broadcast on the lunchtime bulletin, and a longer report – which featured additional interviews with Winton residents and SUBU VP Comms Annie Hall – was shown in the evening bulletin.

The story was also picked up by the Bournemouth Echo newspaper and in news bulletins on local radio stations BBC Radio Solent and Fire FM.