“I see you with my heart.” ~ Zulu saying quoted in My Traitor’s Heart
By the time we met our undergrad counterparts from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, we had interacted with primary school students, educators and some locals. We had a sense of the people of South Africa but we had not yet encountered university students with a passion for inclusive education and culturally responsive teaching. We were divided into two groups and asked to create a name for our groups, which resulted in Cape Diego & Cunny Beings. We were then tasked with tailoring the CRSTP form for high school kids in this region.
The CRSTP was quickly renamed to “Ungubani” – a catch all phrase that could potentially eliminate stigma for immigrant learners. With input from CPUT students, we removed the question “What languages do you speak?” and instead asked “How many languages do you speak?” In this manner, speaking multiple languages remained a strength and not a source of shame. This session was also our first introduction to the General’s (Abongile’s) Yessssss exclamation. It was remarkable how quickly all 16 of us bonded. Again, despite the differences of circumstances, culture and continents, we saw each other with our heart and our passion for inclusivity permeated our interactions for the next several days.