Cabinet has congratulated the winners of the inaugural essay competition on the life of Nat Nakasa, a prominent journalist whose remains returned to South Africa after 50 years on 19 August 2014.
“This initiative by the Department of Arts and Culture reminds our young generation about our struggle for freedom and exposes them to the history of writing and journalism in South Africa,” Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement on Thursday, following Cabinet’s regular meeting.
She said the journalism students Sbongakonke Mbatha, Qiniso Mbili and Nkamogeleng Lebeloane each won an internship placement and a laptop.
Another category was the learners’ debate which reflected on the achievements attained through Freedom and Democracy.
Competition objectives included creating awareness on the role of journalists during the liberation struggle in South Africa.
The winners Mfundo Radebe, Dumisa Nzama, Danielle Dallas, Olivia Habonimana, Faith Marthinussen and Cebisa Ncube each won a laptop.
The remains of Nat Nakasa were reburied on 13 September at Heroes Acre in Durban. The remains was successfully repatriated and brought back from New York on 19 August, by a team led by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Speaking at the reburial service of Nakasa, held at the Durban City Hall, Minister Mthethwa said the forced departure of Nakasa for Harvard University in America tells the story of where South Africa comes from.
He said it evokes the memories of many members of the Sophiatown Renaissance, who were forced to go into exile because of political repression that followed the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960.
He described Nakasa as someone who was a nation builder and an agent of social cohesion before this became a buzzword.
Nakasa left the country in 1964 on a one way exit permit after he was awarded a prestigious Nieman Fellowship to study at Harvard University in the USA.
He committed suicide in July 1965 by jumping from a window of a high-rise building. This was out of frustration at the thought not being able to come back home. He was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in upstate New York.
At the time of his death, the late Nakasa was a student and also working as a journalist in the UK.
The self-acclaimed Native of Nowhere was born in Chesterville, Durban in 1937. He worked for Ilanga laseNatal, Drum Magazine, Golden City Post and the Rand Daily Mail.
He founded The Classic in 1963 with the intention of publishing ‘African Writing of merit’.
The Department of Arts and Culture said Nakasa’s homecoming after 50 years of forced exile has a significant meaning to the people of South Africa in this twentieth celebration of freedom, “as he wrote eloquently about an ideal South Africa that would be democratic, non-racial and socially cohesive”.
Source : SAnews.gov.za