Rhodes University has renamed two of its residence halls after South African struggle icons Solomon Mahlangu and Hugh Masekela. 

What was known to many students as Jan Smuts Hall and Hilltop Hall was renamed as part of the university’s ongoing transformation agenda and to honour the two icons. 

According to deputy vice-chancellor Professor Mabokang Monnapula-Mapesela, the university’s renaming policy aimed to correct past imbalances caused by apartheid.

She said: We want to make sure that our students see that our history and experiences are reflected in the life of our University.

The vice-chancellor, Professor Sizwe Mabizela, said over the past few years, 20 name changes within the university had taken place.

He added buildings, facilities, academic units, and structures were named after liberation icons like Ellen Nnoseng Kuzwayo, Walter Sisulu, Rosa Parks, Ruth First, Joe Slovo, Victoria Nonyamezelo Mxenge, Adelaide Tambo, Helen Joseph, Robert Mmangaliso Sobukwe, Chris Thembisile Hani, Miriam Zenzile Makeba, Lillian Masediba Ngoyi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, and Steve Bantubonke Biko.

Masekela’s daughter, Motlalepula Twala, said: “We are beaming with pride about what Rhodes University has done. We appreciate this as a family as we feel that it is in sync with my father’s motto of love, learn and teach.
Twala, on behalf of the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation, said the foundation had an exhibition that moved around and would like for it to come to the Hugh Masekela Hall.