“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” Horace Mann

According to a 2009 parliamentary presentation, South Africa has surpassed Brazil in the measure of the Gini coefficient (standing at 0.679), .i.e a measure of income inequality within a population.

Horace Mann, an individual who made great contributions towards humanity through education once said “…Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men – the balance wheel of the social machinery. It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility toward the rich; it prevents being poor.”

Somafco/Mazimbu was at best, an example of a care-giving society driven by people who cared to contribute towards humanity and who believed and proactively contributed to that belief.

Mazimbu was about protecting the future, and the late O R Tambo, the chief campaigner for Mazimbu and Dakawa once said “…A country, a nation, a people that does not care for its children, has no future and deserves none…”

What the Somafco legacy should mean to former students

The ANC policy document on the formation of Somafco is unequivocal and leaves nothing to the imagination. According to the ANC Education Policy Document of 1978, the objective of SOMAFCO was to create a ‘political school’ that would:

  • Prepare cadres to serve the national struggle of the people of South Africa in the phase of the struggle for seizure of political power and the post liberation phase.
  • Produce such cadres as will be able to serve the society in all fields i.e. political, economic, socio-cultural, educational and scientific.

The national struggle for “seizure of political power” has been achieved, but it is clear that much has to be done in the fields of “political, economic, socio-cultural, educational and scientific”.

Thus the perceived role of the former student of Somafco as stated above, was for their participation in the reconstruction and development of South Africa for the benefit of the people in the country as a whole. It envisaged producing individuals who are agents of transformation and prosperity of the country, those who can advance the universal values of humanity.

The Somafco Trust exists as part of this continuum and aims to carry this heritage forward for the benefit of humanity, by being an example through youth empowerment and in particular through educational initiatives here in South Africa – a direct manifestation of rich heritage.

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