Indian Christian body to honour Madiba

2010-07-15 00:00

TO celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday, the Global Network of Christian Indian Leaders (Goncil) will host a banquet which will commemorate the 150 years since the arrival of Indians in South Africa. The event will coincide with Madiba’s birthday.

The celebrations will take place at Durban’s City Hall on Mandela Day on Sunday at 5 pm.

“To commemorate this auspicious event, the organisation is hosting festivals titled ‘1860 Christfest’,” said Dr David Reddy of Goncil.

He said the 1860 Christfest banquet will honour the international icon, human rights campaigner and freedom fighter with the cutting of a cake to mark the occasion.

“Our former president turns 92 on Sunday and recognising where we are today, we realise that Madiba, Gandhi and many others sacrificed a lot to see us free,” said Reddy.

Among the dignitaries expected to attend are: King Goodwill Zwelithini; Dr T.P. Naidoo, author of The Settler and director of the Indian Academy of South Africa; Ela Gandhi, grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi; and the Deputy Mayor of Durban, Logie Naidoo.

Reddy said the audience will get to hear the story of the arrival of the first Indian who disembarked from the SS Truro at Durban harbour on November 16, 1860 — a Christian named Dhavaran.

One of the highlights will be a play entitled Emerging through the Canefields, which features the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the indentured labourers.

For inquiries, phone 031 307 2750.

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