LAUNCH DINNER OF THE MAPUNGUBWE INSTITUTE (MISTRA)
Executive Director: Joel Netshitenzhe
17 March 2011
Director of Ceremonies;
Honourable Deputy President;
Professor Dominick Salvatore;
Professor Dani Nabudere;
Chairperson and Members of the MISTRA Council of Advisors;
Chairperson and Members of the MISTRA Board of Governors;
Inaugural Fellows of the Mapungubwe Institute;
Founding Contributors and Golden Sceptre awardees as well as others who, through their generous
contributions, have made the Mapungubwe Institute and this occasion possible;
Distinguished leaders of government, business, academia and civil society;
Management and Staff of the Mapungubwe Institute;
Members of the Mapungubwe Society of Researchers;
Members of the Media;
Ladies and gentlemen.
If, Deputy President, you have noticed a few glistening eyes particularly among MISTRA leaders and staff, please be assured that there is no need to be concerned. No one has prematurely partaken in any prohibited or restricted substance. The fact of experiencing the consummation of an idea that started as a dream can be truly overwhelming.
When we launched on this journey as a few acquaintances just over a year ago, we were as much testing our own resilience as we were acting out a belief that South Africa’s intellectual community and corporate citizens do appreciate that which is good for our country.
From convincing the core founding donors, whom we honour today, to take the plunge and part with valuable resources for something that existed only in the heads of idealists; assembling academics, researchers and policy practitioners to brainstorm the MISTRA idea; workshops to identify long-term and priority research projects; to operationalising the research project teams… and now this launch, we have traversed a journey that has generated pain and joy, despair and ecstasy all mixed in one.