A part of celebrating our heritage is remembering the leaders who acknowledged the past while building a better future. One such leader who left a lasting legacy was our very own Professor Russel Botman. By dedicating his life to serving others, Prof Botman became a historical figure and contributed to our country’s heritage. In an exquisitely crafted painting by artist Fiona Metcalfe, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University is depicted in Victoria Street on a beautiful winter’s day, without ever having met him. She attributed her work to the various photographs and descriptions. She used these to illustrate what she imagined the Professor to be like, having captured him most accurately. This representation is now housed within the SU Museum in Reyneveld Street. It honours the inspiring figure of the University and surrounding Town’s heritage, of which he played a considerable part.
In addition to the Museum in Reyneveld Street, Prof Botman is also uniquely depicted in the virtual Camissa Museum on the Wall of Recognition. This representation showcases him as one of many great achievers and contributors among Africans, especially those classified under the term ‘coloured’ by the colonialist rulers during Apartheid. His most significant efforts were focused on the youth, for which he established the Russel Botman Bursary Fund. He understood that this could only benefit South Africa and the greater African society comprised of complex pasts and diverse futures (borrowed from the theme of World Heritage Day celebrated on 18 April this year).
Reflecting on the African Heritage Day that took place on 5 May 2021 and its theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for building the Africa we want”, we are proud to be able to associate one of Africa’s sons, Russel Botman, as one of the country’s prominent figures of the South African Heritage.
We thank you for your continued support toward a future that provides accessible higher education, and we ask that you continue to donate to this notable cause. In so doing, you both recognize and celebrate the inspirational figure that is Prof Russel Botman.