Awards revere legends

2020-02-27 06:04
Sinakho CEO Mthobeli Guma educating learners about the history of Langa. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Sinakho CEO Mthobeli Guma educating learners about the history of Langa. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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With less than seven years to marking its centenary celebrations, Langa has produced many stars in the entertainment and sporting world, most of whom have completely been forgotten.

However, that is about to change following the official launch of the Inkaba Awards on Saturday 22 February at Guga S’thebe. The awards ceremony is set to take place in September.

The awards will honour and recognise former and current legends and revive Langa’s history. They are organised by Sinakho Leadership Support and Skills Development Centre, an initiative that equips local people with some business skills.

Event organiser Bongani Njoli said it is time for the Langa community to recognise some of their own. He said Langa has a rich history which is unknown to the majority of people.

He said nothing is being done to promote Langa despite all its achievements. “We want to tell our history on our own because we feel that the youth has limited knowledge about the history of this area,” he said.

“We want people, particularly youth, to know about our heritage. They must know who is Langalibalele and why Langa was named after him. We have the unsung heroes and heroines whose names are never mentioned, including anti-apartheid activist Annie Silinga, Hamilton Naki, a laboratory assistant to heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard, Ben Malamba, who was awarded both rugby and cricket colours, Violent Magwaca who was among the first black woman to be a boxing referee and later became a judge,” he said.

Njoli said there are some important things that are part of Langa’s heritage. They include the Langa Dompas Museum, Old Flats and Langa High School which was involved in the 1976 students uprising.

Njoli said the event had two sessions, the first was for learners and another one was attended by residents.

“We invited Grade 10 learners from all the high schools in the area including Isilimela, Langa, Khulani and Leap Science and Maths School and also learners from Bonteheuwel. We want to educate them about the history of Langa and the role played by its leaders during the apartheid,” he stated.

He said Langa’s history is being forgotten because there is nothing about it in government’s calendar.

Sinakho chief executive officer Mthobeli Guma explained to the learners that fighting apartheid, was not about violence.

“It was a strategy to force the then government to change the system that was denying us human rights. Our goal was to liberate the country,” he stated.

Grade 10 learner from Leap Science and Maths School Mihlali Booi said the event was educational.

“We learnt about how people were living during the time of apartheid. And how Langa was established,” she said.

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