The MEC for Arts, Culture and Sports in the Eastern Cape, Xoliswa Tom launched WordFest 2009 by praising knowledge as power, at the National Arts Festival at Rhodes University campus. The show began with some brilliant poetry recitals by some locals who spoke native tongues and wore traditional attire.
The Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Rhodes University were present. VC Dr. Saleem Badat spoke about education and its importance and said he hopes President Jacob Zuma will take it seriously. He said that access to education and allowing students to succeed does not only change one’s life but one’s family and community.
The VC said black students had increased from 24 percent in 2006 to 41 percent in 2009. He also said that FIFA had offered the University a handsome sum of money to use its residences during SA2010 but they had declined in favour of ArtFest.