A time to reinvent, rethink, and reimagine

Prof Russel Botman celebrated his sixtieth birthday surrounded by those challenged by his future-orientated visions of a new world. The speakers at the symposium at the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University came from different voices reflecting on his life, thoughts and perspectives in various fields, one of them being education.

As someone always striving to do and be better, it is impossible to categorise Prof Botman. He was continually reimagining, reinventing, and rethinking ways in which he – and the rest of us – could make this world better, particularly with regards to education. He established the Russel Botman Bursary Fund from his dream for a better future on his sixtieth birthday.

This year’s annual Russel Botman Memorial Lecture will be delivered by a professor in Community Psychology at the Department of Educational Psychology, Ronelle Carolissen. As a dear colleague of Prof Botman’s, she will continue this challenging legacy by doing the same through her lecture, “Revisiting Critical Hope in Uncertain Times”. Like Prof Botman’s, we imagine that her challenge will be to reconstruct a different and better world imaginatively and materially, with a sharper focus on the topic that the guest speaker, Dr Jane Adhiambo Chiroma, from the Pan African Christian University will be sharing. She will be joining us from Nairobi, Kenya, and responding to Prof Carolissen’s lecture.

We’re also incredibly excited to have this year’s recipients of the Bursary Fund joining us. They are an essential part of the Russel Botman Bursary Fund. Through their education, we can witness the future that Prof Botman envisioned and reimagine, reinvent, and rethink how we can continue this legacy and build from it to create an even better world. It is also important to remember that a big part of the Fund’s ability to change the future is due to the material and financial support. Without this, we are unable to provide hope for the education of these and future students. In keeping with Prof Botman’s tradition, we ask that donations be made to the fund to keep Prof Botman’s dream of a better world alive.

We wish Prof Carolissen, our very own Fullbright Scholar of 2021, well for the upcoming event, and we thank you for your thoughts and insights.