One of the wonderful things about going to Meeting for Worship each week is that you never know who will be there.
This January, Haverford Meeting welcomed two distinguished South African Friends, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and her husband Jeremy Routledge.
Sitting in the sunny corner of the Meeting house, they brought a bit of South African Quaker Spirit to our chilly winter. Nozizwe was first elected to Parliament in 1994, and later served her nation as Deputy Minister of Defense (1999-2004), then Deputy Minister of Health (2004-2007) and finally, Deputy speaker of the National Assembly (2008-2009).
She fought for scientifically grounded AIDS treatment under Mbeki, and has been similarly active in the struggle against sex trafficking.
Walter Sullivan, Director of Quaker Affairs at Haverford, said that Nozizwe is in the region to teach a spring semester course: After the Sunset: Lessons in Transition to Peace – The South African Example. She is also serving the community as a Friend in Residence. The course she is teaching will ‘cover the issues, theories and methodologies of nonviolent and violent struggles, peace negotiations, transitional justice, post conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding by looking at South Africa as a case study.’
The course will also examine the roles played by Quakers in ending the South African conflict and supporting a negotiated peace process.
PYM Online will be interviewing Nozizwe for our web news a little later in the spring, after she and Jeremy are settled, and she’s taken up her Haverford College teaching responsibilities.
Yesterday Nozizwe emailed us that she is “excited to be a visiting scholar and Friend in Residence at Haverford–where I received an honorary doctorate in 2008. Yesterday, I visited the Quaker Collections Reading Room with Jeremy where we plan to spend time delving into Quaker history and being inspired.”
The history of Quakers in South Africa is itself inspiring, and we are lucky to have Nozizwe and Jeremy here to make their South African Quaker experience relevant to us, in the Philadelphia region, as we head into the 2020 elections.
Don’t miss Nozizwe and Jeremy’s Haverford College talk on February 24th from 4:30-6:00 PM. Titled Race Power and Quakerism in South Africa, it is sure to be interesting.