On Wednesday night, 2nd of August 2023, Mandelbaum House hosted Associate Professor Narelle Yeo for an event that I now fondly remember. As I was making my way to the formal dinner, I did not know what to expect but it definitely was not sitting next to the guest of honour! She turned towards me with a friendly face and the rest is history! Friendly, charming, talented, approachable, and intelligent. That is the impression she made in one night!
When she was called to the front, I must admit, I was expecting some sort of lecture. Instead, she gave us front row tickets to a mini opera! As she burst out singing, “Vinceròòò!” I was pleasantly surprised! What followed next was nothing short of entertaining, from the professor performing with a student to short tales about her time as a lawyer, she revealed herself to be a spectacular person with many talents. She, talking from experience, encouraged us to “burst through the curtain!” To step beyond the curtain of limitations into the spotlight, being brave to pursue dreams or goals which other people might not understand or welcome.
After the professor’s performance slash presentation combo, and everything had been ticked off the agenda, students took the opportunity to mingle with Ms. Yeo and ask for advice regarding their career. When everything had been said and done, the professor bid Mandelbaum House farewell after a job (or a show!) well done. One of the new residents had this to say, “I went back to my room high spirited and feeling lighter than when I left it.” A testament to a night well spent. I hope you enjoyed Mandelbaum as much as we enjoyed your presence Professor Yeo! Fine!
Article by: Ndibo Zwebathu (Mandelbaum resident)
Photography: Annika Oakley (Mandelbaum resident)