On 18 October the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University, The Beyers Naude Centre for Public Theology and the Curatoria of the Uniting Reformed and Dutch Reformed Churches hosted the Fourth Annual Russel Botman Memorial Lecture. This year Dr. Marlene le Roux, CEO of Artscape, confronted a packed Adam Small Theatre with the lecture about progressing from the brutalities of our divided past to the hope of a unified future. As an activist in general and arts in particular, this dynamic speaker called upon us to activate hope. This is directly in line with the life and legacy of Prof Russel Botman and his contribution to the arts[I]. As an expression of this notion the Russel Botman Bursary Fund introduced the 2018 recipients to which Robyn Snyman responded with a vote of thanks for the opportunities the RBBF created for them. These young people represent the legacy of a life well lived, that is Russel Botman.
In celebrating the youth and Prof Botman and a lesson for all of us, I want to share the words of a character in a television series, Tin Star:
“One cannot judge a biography by its length nor by the number of pages, but by the richness of its content. Sometimes those unfinished biographies are the most poignant. A song cannot be judged by its length or by the number of notes, but how it touches and lifts our souls. Sometimes those unfinished songs are the most healing.
And when something has enriched our lives and its melody lingers in our hearts, is it unfinished or is it endless?”
Donate to the Russel Botman Bursary Fund to make the song and biography that was Russel Botman endless.
[i] The Hope College, Holland, Michigan, USA conferred Honoris Causa, The Degree of Doctor of letters on Professor Hayman Russel Botman on 4 March 2014.