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Seminar Series

Ndifuna Ukwazi means “I want to know” in Xhosa. Individual and collective action to acquire knowledge is central to Ndifuna Ukwazi’s mission.

Ndifuna Ukwazi borrows the slogan Dare to Know for the English version of our name from Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher. This slogan insists that citizens have the “courage to use [their] own understanding”. In his article “What is Enlightenment” published in 1784, Kant argues that the free and public use of reason is indispensable for freedom.

Ndifuna Ukwazi is the demand of citizens and leaders who Dare to Know – it is a contemporary conversation by people to acquire knowledge and education in their permanent struggle for a free and equal world where a dignified life for all is possible.

In addition to our Fellowship Programme, Ndifuna Ukwazi has started a seminar series for young civil society leaders, scholars, opinion makers and activists who wish to learn, discuss and debate local and global political, social and economic topics. The first seminar on Violence and Discrimination against Black Working-class Lesbians and Transgender Men in South Africa was held on 11 January 2012 and led by Dr. Graeme Reid (Human Rights Watch).

Ndifuna Ukwazi expects seminar participants to commit to 10 seminars for the year because our aim is to create a cadre of young leaders built through rigorous learning, analysis and debate.


The goals of the seminar series are to:

  • Create a space where quality education and discussion can take place on  a sustained basis and to promote debate on and engagement with local and global political, social and economic knowledge.
  • Build and develop young leaders from a range of organisations by demanding deeper and detailed preparation and engagement on the issues and a more rigorous analysis and debate among participants.

Audience, discussion leaders, and participants:

While it will be open to a range of partners, organisations and individuals, the seminar series will accommodate a limited number of participants.

Invitations to participate in these seminars will be extended to the broader academic, research and activist community.

Young leaders from other organisations will also be encouraged to join the seminar series by being part of the permanent core group of participants at each seminar in the entire 10-part series.

These seminars and lectures will be led by fellows and activist leaders, as well as members of the judicial, research, legal, human rights, activist and academic community.


Seminar schedule

Seminars will take place the last Monday evening of every month at 17:00 – 19:30 at Ndifuna Ukwazi’s offices and other venues in Cape Town.

February – June 2012

27 February 2012                “Election or Auction: The American Political System” (Daniel Weeks)

26 March 2012                     “100 Years: The ANC as Liberation Movement and Government” (Ari Sitas)

13 April 2012                        “Social Media in a Time of Social Movement” (Alex van Tonder)

23 April 2012                        “The Rise of the Worker’s Movement and the ANC from 1973 to 1994” (Prof Eddie Webster)

28 May 2012                         “Money, Politics and the State in South Africa” (Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Ferial Haffajee)

25 June 2012                       “The 1976 Uprising and the Rise of the ANC in the Western Cape”  (Zackie Achmat)

In the second half of 2012, Ndifuna Ukwazi aims to move away from our South African focus (occasioned by the ANC Centenary and Elective Conference) and to examine global political, social and economic topics such as the financial crisis.

Check the Events page regularly for updates.

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