Charting our past reinforces our heritage

Author: JT Comms
Date: 16 Sep 2011

“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another,” are the encouraging words uttered by the iconic Nelson Mandela. The Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation’s Liberation Struggle Heritage Route ensures that during September, which is Heritage Month, South Africans once again walk down that treacherous path of our history so that we do not make the same mistakes again.

The Liberation Struggle Heritage Route is a project of remembrance for South Africans so that we remain mindful of the country’s most significant events, individuals and locations that continue to vividly narrate the liberation of this heritage-filled nation.

The provincial department will utilise the Liberation Struggle Heritage Route poster campaign to publicise the Liberation Struggle Heritage Route, so that Gauteng’s communities participate in the identification of heritage sites that are associated with the liberation struggle. South Africa’s most sought after province, Gauteng, has proposed that the unique route be listed on the world heritage register as the first of its kind to be recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee. A committee made up of civil society stakeholders will be appointed to undertake a consultative process with communities so that these chosen landmarks and people are given proper platforms to depict our liberation’s stories.

The Liberation Struggle Heritage Route poster campaign’s impact will be bolstered by the Profiling of Personalities. The project aims to highlight the contributions that were made by figures whose history is not known. The profiling aims to publicise the individuals’ history in relation to the liberation struggle.

The modus operandi for the selection involves the individuals’ lives being researched, including who they are in their community, the values they stood for, their background and the role they played in the liberation. The gathered data will then be collated into a personality profile and this will be published in selected newspapers.

Africa is a continent that has not been utilising formal manners of recording history and this has meant that there has been a discrepancy and imbalances. There was also the fact that some of the country’s history has been left out intentionally. The Profiling of Personalities project’s strengths are that it generates, publicise and disseminate vital historical knowledge of the chosen personalities.

As a pilot project, only four individuals have been selected according to the following criteria: credentials in the struggle; the need for gender balance; youth empowerment; disability and involvement in former liberation forces like unions.

The first four individuals that have the honour of being profiled include the Vaal’s Molefi Congress Mbata, who facilitated the crossing of operatives for military training under uMkhonto Wesizwe; Sam Ntuli who is a former unionist from Ekurhuleni; Charlotte Maxeke who was the first president of the ANC Women’s League, and social worker, author and member of the first democratically elected parliament, Ellen Khuzwayo.

South Africa would not be the proud and progressive nation that it is today if it was not for the the selfless efforts of the men and women who were willing to lay their lives for our freedom and Heritage Month is an opportunity for all of us to thanks them by showcasing our strength through diversity.

For more information contact Nomazwe Ntlokwana on 083 507 8068 / 011 355 2578 or nomazwe.ntlokwana@gauteng.gov.za

For media related queries you may contact Ayob Vania / Vanessa Perumal on 011 788 7632/1 | media@jtcomms.co.za

Issued by JT Communications on behalf of the Gauteng DepartmeIssued by JT Communications on behalf of thent of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

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