On 2 February 1990, then President FW de Klerk announced the highly anticipated news of the release of Nelson Mandela from his 27-year imprisonment – a move met with mixed emotions worldwide.
 The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Nelson Mandela University have joined hands in an effort to advance the legacy of the world icon after which they are named.
On the eve of the 30th anniversary of former president Nelson Mandela’s release, Nelson Mandela University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have cemented a strategic partnership that seeks to take Madiba’s legacy forward into the next 30 years and beyond.

Allison Smith, Visiting Scholar and PhD candidate from Boston University, will present a paper entitled “Opera as Community-Building, Opera as Propaganda: Mandela Trilogy in Hong Kong” at a SLL Research Seminar at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The seminar will take place at 16:45 on 22 August 2019 in Beattie 115.

The Archives and Exhibition Centre of Nelson Mandela University presents Compl [y,x]: The Gender Debate. This debate, which highlights  gender in relation to Mandela, is a supplement to the [Provoke/Ukuchukumisa/Daag-Uit] exhibition that took place earlier this year and formed part of the University’s Mandela Centenary Celebrations, as well as the Dalibhunga: This Time? That Mandela? colloquium.

Bird Street exhibition: ‘we are present’. The opening session of the Dalibhunga: This time? That Mandela? colloquium took place in the spacious art gallery of Nelson Mandela University’s Bird Street Campus, surrounded by artworks produced in response to the colloquium. 
The exhibition, titled ‘we are present’ featured works produced by staff and postgraduate student designers, photographers, sculptors, printmakers and painters from the Department of Visual Arts at Nelson Mandela University’s School of Music, Art and Design (SoMAD).
The colloquium Dalibhunga: This time? That Mandela? — held from March 6 to 8 at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) — was essentially a conversation to explore, debate and discuss what the proposed Transdisciplinary Institute for Mandela Studies (TIMS) could look like, including the main themes that should be explored within it.
The name “Dalibhunga” was the name Mandela was given after undergoing initiation, meaning “creator of the council” or “convenor of the dialogue”. It was chosen for the colloquium as it was the bringing together of a community of scholars and practitioners to debate and discuss Mandela as a social figure, and how the formulation of a Critical Mandela Studies programme could play a meaningful and practical role concerning the challenges of time.
In her opening speech at the Dalibhunga: This time? That Mandela? colloquium, which ran from March 6 to 8, Nelson Mandela University Vice-Chancellor Sibongile Muthwa said the university and society needed to be “haunted” by Mandela the social figure, as a means of pulling together past and present, to create a new and better future.
“[Mandela] haunts us in our endeavours to re-imagine and reclaim the university,” she said, steps that were necessary to transform the university and its relationship to society, and approach differently the problems society faces.
When Nelson Mandela University dropped “Metropolitan” from its name in 2017, it was no longer
named after a city, but the person, Nelson Mandela, the global icon for social justice.
And there was a huge responsibility that went with that, a point emphasised by then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the official ceremony marking the name change, who said: "The decision to become Nelson Mandela University is not simply an exercise in corporate rebranding".
There are many reasons why the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Human Sciences Research Council agreed to come on board with Nelson Mandela University to jointly establish the new Transdisciplinary Institute of Mandela Studies (TIMS) at the university. Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Director of Archive and Dialogue, Verne Harris, said the university was one of around 60 institutions worldwide authorised to carry Madiba’s name but “it was very seldom that an institution carrying the name comes to us with a proposal to do really meaningful work”.
What should an archive for Nelson Mandela look like? What does it need to tell us about the man and his life, and the way he continues to impact our society? What happens when critical information is erased from the archive? And how can we use the archive to grapple with the great questions of our time, including the decolonising of curricula? These were just some of the questions raised and debated at arguably the most contentious session at the Dalibhunga: This time? That Mandela? colloquium at Nelson Mandela University, which was simply titled The Archive.
On one Nelson Mandela University campus, students and recent graduates debated the positioning of Nelson Mandela and his social justice ideals in the #FeesMustFall movement, while on another campus, a protest around fees was in full swing. That was the backdrop to the Mandela@MustFall session at the Mandela Colloquium, held from March 6 to 8 at Nelson Mandela University. The opinions were varied and at times critical — some seeing the “dancing grandfatherly” image of Mandela they grew up with as far removed from current student activism.