Heritage Month to honour struggle heroes

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

By Nosihle Shelembe

Pretoria - The Department of Arts and Culture will educate South Africans about its struggle heroes, who were not widely recognised, as part of its Heritage Month projects.

“Amongst the projects that have been identified by the department to tell their story during Heritage Month are the Nat Nakasa, JB Marks and Moses Kotane reburial,” Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

“Each of these heroes has done a lot for the liberation of South Africa.”

President Jacob Zuma will preside over the burial of the remains of Nat Nakasa in Durban on 13 September.

“These symbolic projects are part of the Legacy Projects and provides the nation with an opportunity to learn about their personal struggles, circumstances around them leaving the country, life in exile, how they died, the impact and influence they had for the liberation of our country,” Minister Mthethwa said.

He was speaking during the launch of Heritage Month in Freedom Park in Pretoria.

The theme for this year’s Heritage Month is “Celebrating 20 years of democracy: Tell your story that moves South Africa Forward”.

“We invite all our people to pause this special September to ponder the changes that South Africa has experienced since the dawn of the new era,” Minister Mthethwa said.

He said the history of South Africa had to be understood and had to be told in full from the time of colonialism to the times of freedom.

“This will assist in branding South Africa as one of the greatest theatres of struggle, spaces of pain, victory over oppressive systems of governance and most importantly a world-recognised model of reconciliation and nation building.  

“We want to ensure that our history is understood, that is why monuments like Voortrekker [Monument] are also important,” Minister Mthethwa said.

He said Heritage Month would be geared towards the construction of awareness through oral history narrations, exhibitions, poetry, dance, songs and site visits.

“We have seen that at we narrate our stories, emphasise the importance of our heritage, symbolised and personified by individual heroes who made their contribution to our freedom and democracy, many people’s interest is generated,” Minister Mthethwa said.

President Zuma will deliver a key note address at the main event on Heritage Day which would be held in the North West at the James Motlatsi Stadium.

Other projects which will take place during Heritage Month include the Book Week, Mahikeng Heritage Campaign, Ratlou Heritage Campaign and the National Oral History Programme. – SAnews.gov.za