2008-09-08 00:00

Barry Marshall, CEO of the provincial heritage body Amafa, announced last week that a memorial to Dingiswayo Godongwane kaJobe is to be erected at his grave site near Empangeni. Dingiswayo, the 19th-century leader of KwaZulu-Natal’s Mthethwa people, was an important mentor of the young King Shaka, and is credited with the amabutho (regimental) system that was later developed and fine-tuned by Shaka.

The memorial sculpture will not only honour a fine leader, but will be a work of art in itself, and will certainly be included on maps of tourist destinations.

This is welcome news. As this newspaper has frequently argued, the commemoration of our indigenous heritage through monuments to figures and events that up until now have been inadequately acknowledged, helps rectify the imbalances created in the pre-democratic decades of South African history. This is a trend which should be mirrored countrywide.

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