Northern Cape hosts Cultural and Heritage Parade to historic sites in Kimberley

Cultural and Heritage Parade to Historic Sites in Kimberley

As part of celebrating Heritage month and the build up towards the Golden Shield Heritage Awards which is held annually to recognize and honour those who have contributed to the preservation, protection and the promotion of South African heritage, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Sol Plaatje Municipality and the National Heritage Council embarked on a cultural parade to historic sites in Kimberley which has a strong heritage significance attached to it. The participants in the cultural parade emanated from a diverse background.

The Cultural and Heritage March reflected on historic sites so that those who formed part of the march can understand where we are today and who we truly are. The march to the various sites reminded us not to lose sight of our heritage and how the different strands of history have influenced us and shaped us to who we are and what it means to be free.

The march started at a very historical site the Old Malay Camp now known as the the Harry Oppenheimer Gardens. The Malay Camp was a cosmopolitan suburb which was subject to forced removals prior to the Group Areas Act.

The gardens were formerly where the (historical) Malay Camp was. The camp housed a diversity of cultures and ethic entities from around the world. These were people who came to Kimberley to claim their stake in the diamond rush.

The Malay Camp extended, then, to include far flung locations like the current Post Office, the Market Square, the William Humphrey Art Gallery, and the now Sol Plaatjie University and what used to be William Pescod Education Institution.

The parade moved past Eureka Street into Lennox Street into De Beers Street, De Beers Street is a reference to the mining giants that monopolized the diamond mines/ industry in Kimberley and later the gold industry in the country. From De Beers street they proceeded towards Phakamile Mabija/Jones Street- Transvaal Road.

Phakamile Mabija Street is divided into two separate Apartheid/Colonial Streets, Transvaal Road � that became the N12 which leads us straight to the old Transvaal Republic. Jones Street named after William Thomas Jones who owned a Pub called the Old Clock in Market Square Street.

Phakamile Mabija Street – was named to honour the struggle stalwart that was thrown to his death from the sixth floor of the Special Branch police station housed in the same Street.

The Statue of Frances Baard

She was born in Beaconsfield in 1909. She joined the ANC in 1948 when Apartheid was legalized. She was part of the drafting of the Freedom Charter in 1955 and was also part of the Women’s March in 1956. She was banished/ jailed and was penniless and jobless. She was Buried a pauper.

Sol Plaatje University , William Pescod.

SPU stands on historic grounds that was part of the Malay Camp which includes the William Pescod building, a former Coloured only Learning Institution.

The parade in itself fostered social cohesion within our diverse Heritage.

The educational march formed part of the build up towards the Golden Shield Heritage Awards (GOSHA) which will be held on the 15 September 2017. The main aim of the awards is to thank the practitioners who contribute to the preservation, protection and promotion of African heritage. The Golden Shield Heritage Awards also seeks to celebrate excellence specifically in the heritage sector. The theme for the GOSHA is therefore Celebrating Cultural & Heritage Champions in the 100 years of Oliver Tambo.

Source: Government of South Africa

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