Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Posted: April 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela was born in Langa Township, in Cape Town, South Africa. She
graduated from Fort Hare University, which Nelson Mandela and many of today’s leaders in
South Africa’s government also attended, under apartheid’s laws of separate education for
blacks and whites. She pursued graduate studies at Rhodes University, an apartheid-era
whites-only university where blacks had to obtain approval from the minister of education to
study for degrees not offered by universities designated for blacks. Pumla qualified as a
clinical psychologist and earned a doctoral degree from the University of Cape Town.
Pumla has been the recipient of many awards from leading institutions, including Harvard
University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, and the University of Michigan. She
was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Holy Cross College in 2002. Pumla has
taught for many years in the psychology department of the University of Transkei. She
served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission shortly before coming to the United
States, in 1998, to take up a peace fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced
Research at Harvard. Between 1999 and 2001, she also taught at Brandeis, Wellesley, and
Tufts, and offered workshops for college and high school teachers in summer institutes run
by Facing History and Ourselves. Gobodo-Madikizela has also lectured extensively on issues
of forgiveness, apology, and remorse.
Gobodo-Madikizela is currently an associate professor of psychology at the University ofCape Town and an adjunct professor at the Unilever Ethics Centre of the University of Natal
in Pietermaritzburg. She also serves as a faculty affiliate in the Coexistence Program at the
Brandeis Ethics Center.Gobodo-Madikizela lives in Cape Town with her son.


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