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South African Preaching Project Inspires Devotees and Trains Young African Leaders

ISKCON News

(iskconnews.org) – Devotee sharing Krishna Consciousness on university campus

Wake up South Africa (WuSA) is a newly established initiative by African devotees explicitly focused on African preaching in university settings. The active non-profit, recognized as an ISKCON affiliate for creative initiatives, is dedicated to sharing the principles of Bhakti Yoga to benefit society through five main objectives: mantra meditation, timeless knowledge, ethical leadership, Vedic lifestyle, and positive recreation. 

WuSA Projects include kirtan parties and prasadam, education, training, and cultural exchange programs, including arts and crafts, podcasting, and even an “open mic” poetry circuit. The project aims to share Krishna Consciousness creatively with the larger population outside the standard restraints and expressions of traditional Hindu culture.

The unfortunate death of George Floyd in 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed reignited the dissatisfaction of many in the African devotee community with their inability to eliminate racism through previous discussions with the South African National Council (SANC). It resulted in an open letter noting the shortcomings in the ISKCON South Africa management structures’ facilitation of African preaching projects and an online petition calling for change, which was widely circulated. In addition, hundreds of devotees from the international devotee community signed the petition in support of the now-organized collective of African devotees known as Wake-Up South Africa (WuSA), calling for a live online meeting with the SANC to discuss the issues inclusively. 

SANC helped register WuSA and has committed five thousand South African rands monthly to support the project. The South African National Council (SANC) includes the GBC of South Africa, regional temple presidents, project leaders, management teams, and consulting senior devotees.

Locals receiving Prabhupada’s books at campus outreach

Currently, the WuSA project is running through the support of a collective international effort and management team, which includes resident grihastha disciples of Kadamba Kanana Maharaj, Manukanya Devi Dasi, temple president (the first female and African woman to serve in that position in the movement), Atma Tattva Das who serves as center grounds manager, graphic designer, and technical support for the project alongside WuSA chairperson, resident preacher, and sannyasi candidate Savyasaci Das Brahmachari. 

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