Monument to South African Indian history

2014-11-17 00:00

FROM toiling in the fields as indentured labourers to discussing business in the boardroom, 154 years have seen the Indian community in South Africa grow and prosper.

Since Friday, a host of celebrations were held in Durban and Pietermaritzburg respectively to commemorate the arrival of Indians on South African shores.

On Friday evening, a hall at the Royal Show Grounds in Pietermaritzburg was dressed in a golden splendour, hosting some of the most prominent Indian community and business members.

Big names on the guest list were political activist and granddaughter of the late Mahatma Gandhi, Ela Gandhi; the Consulate General of India Rajagopalan Raghunathan; and the representative of the Dalai Lama in Africa, Nangsa Chodon.

Raghunathan said that this was a very important and historic occasion for all South Africans.

“The first generation of Indians in South Africa toiled hard for the subsequent generations to succeed. We have contributed to the overall wealth of the country in many ways and we should not forget where we came from and what our forefathers went through,” he said.

Chodon, who was in South Africa for the first time, described the country as “beautiful with a diversity of people”. She described how the history of Tibet and its links to India has forged eternal connections with people from both cultures.

“We [Tibetans and Indians] are as close as brothers and sisters … because of India’s help in the past, the Dalai Lama remains in Dharamsalah to this day,” Chodon said.

In Durban, KZN Arts and Culture Department officially handed over the 1860 Heritage Centre to the facility’s board of directors yesterday.

Formerly known as the Durban Cultural and Documentation Centre, it is an information hub on South Africa’s Indian Community’s heritage.

It aims to develop a state-of-the-art interactive museum, digitise its archival records for research purposes and produce documentaries on the community’s history.

The KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, joined the High Commissioner of India and other dignitaries in unveiling three heritage monuments commemorating the 154 year anniversary.

“This unveiling … will be taking place [while] our country is celebrating 20 years of freedom. These monuments [are] a reminder of the distance that we have travelled to form what is recognised today as the rainbow nation,” said Dube-Ncube.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.