A loud ‘No to homophobia!’ from the university, as they launch a symbol of inclusivity and affirmation for the LGBTQIA+ community.

The North-West University’s (NWU) Mahikeng campus has recently unveiled a first of its kind public support for the queer community – the NWU Pride Wall. This is a collaboration between the Student Campus Council (SCC) and the Student Development & Counselling Centre (SDC).   

The unveiling of the wall took place on May 13, 2021, through a virtual ceremony. This event happened just days before the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHTB) on May 17, 2021.  

The pride wall is a symbolic effort to recognize and celebrate the lived experiences of members of the queer community on campus. The wall is intended to amplify their voices and stories.   

In a press release, the university said that they acknowledge and embrace the rights, presence and participation of the LGBTQIA+ community at the institution. “We are openly saying NO to homophobia and discrimination,” read the release.  

The virtual unveiling saw author and socio-economic commentator, Siya Khumalo deliver a keynote address. “Through its pride wall, NWU has led on the deliberate transformation of spaces to celebrate diversity and inclusivity. This speaks to the importance of a rounded education – one that not only teaches the technical aspects of a discipline but reminds stakeholders that all learning is ultimately for the service of human beings who come from different cultures, represent different legacies and embody many ways of being,” Khumalo said at the ceremony.  

“The unveiling of this pride wall is thus both an expression of identity, and celebration of diversity at our Mahikeng campus,” said professor Robert Balfour, the deputy vice chancellor of teaching and learning, at the ceremony.  

The university says that they encourage the spirit of acceptance, tolerance and freedom of identity and hope the wall will aid these efforts. 

FEATURED IMAGE: NWU students posing in front of the Pride Wall at the Mahikeng campus. Photo: Provided.