Candidate for the position of Black & Minority Ethnic Officer

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Ayanda Ngobeni


#Black and Ethnic Minority Officer


Hey there, I'm Ayanda Ngobeni and I am a 2nd-year law student from Joburg, RSA. In my spare time, I exhaust Netflix, laugh at memes and ponder on why I have been referred to as being, "exotic" after explaining where I am from and the history of my identity.


I am currently the Cultural Sensitivity and microaggressions intern at EUSA and my task is to take current efforts by the UoE to curb racial discrimination and combine this with the current student experience to deliver training sessions to both academic and non-academic staff to be aware of how the microaggressions and cultural insensitivities truly affect students and how difficulty around navigating can be increased when you feel uncomfortable with the joke your professor made about your country/culture or how compliments on how well you speak English are not always necessarily well received.


I have been able to do research with regards to the UoE's efforts, via the Thematic review 2018/19 which focused on BAME students support and I have been able to hold 3 focus group sessions for students. The common theme is that the idea of liberalism is stagnating significant change. Here are my 3 main objectives: 

"I don't see colour." is a term that we often hear which is a branch of liberalism. If we fail to admit our faults, then how do we fix the problem? We need honest discussions and therefore education.

The previous BME officers done so well in making the BME community space. I intend to continue this legacy with the added space for BME students to talk to each other about our experiences and offer advice. Because sometimes you need to get it off your chest.

The training sessions for staff are a step in the right direction and I think the same can be done for fellow willing students because outside of the lecture we still have to deal with Edinburgh.