About Us

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Standing the test of time

By Jillian Viljoen

Have a look at these two pictures:

What do you see?

  • The Old Main Building on the UKZN Pmb Main campus? … How very observant of you.
  • A bright sunny day and an overcast day? … Overcast skies do seem to affect one’s mood sometimes.
  • A lilac carpet of Jacaranda flowers on one side and a clear path on the other? … The Jacaranda flowers certainly make a pretty covering.
  • Trees and plants lining the pathway? … Foliage is always a welcome sign of life.
  • The pictures seem to have been taken from a similar angle? … That does seem to make it a bit easier to draw comparisons.
  • A building shrouded in vegetation? … Ooh, that sounds like the beginning of a mystery novel.
  • A complimentary balance between concrete and greenery? … Sounds like a landscaper’s dream design.

All these and many other observations/interpretations are plausible. How we perceive things will differ from person to person because we do not all think alike; our reasoning processes differ just like our fingerprints. But, can we agree that when we look at the two pictures, we all see the same building, pathway, stairs and greenery. The only differences are the lilac Jacaranda flowers and the overcast sky. That building remained the same through all the changes of the seasons and weather. It is recognisable in both pictures.

Our lives under COVID-19 have also changed but we are still the same people. We still pursue our academic aspirations. We still adhere to the REACHt principles of UKZN. We are still positive role models in society and our communities. We still maintain our integrity and self-worth. We just maintain all of this with masks, sanitising and other health and safety protocols.

Much like the building, we remain steadfast, standing the test of time against all odds. Academia can still thrive under COVID-19. We are all a testament to this. Let us continue to support each other in our endeavours. The best is yet to come.