Tots told legacy of the past

2017-12-07 06:00
Yasmina Salie shares her story with a group of born-frees. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Yasmina Salie shares her story with a group of born-frees. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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To make sure that stories of past injustices are relayed to the next generations, the District Six Museum and the Crossroad Community Library hosted the Tell Your Story To A Born Free exhibition on Saturday.

The exhibit included suitcase stories which were told by survivors of forced removals during Apartheid.

Ayanda Mpondo, Project Manager at the District Six Museum, said the plan was to get younger people to understand past stories of difficulty faced by older people.

“(with)This project, we have partnered with libraries and we are hoping to host other sessions where the people will tell their stories in areas such as Nyanga, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.

We want the youngsters to hear these stories from the local people who have a wealth of information,” he said.

Mpondo they had pondered the most efficient ways that stories from Nyanga and surrounds can be brought to life and that is how the Tell Your Story To A Born Free was initiated.

“We have trained local youngsters to go in their communities and find older people who have suffered during the displacements and encouraged them to tell their stories.

Telling your story is freeing, so it’s good for the story tellers. But also encourage youngsters to seek this information.

We hope this initiative can contribute to enhancing spaces like libraries and schools for the healing and reconnecting of divided communities,” he saying.

During the exhibition, Yasmina Salie told of the good old days before the displacement of people from District Six.

“Life then was less expensive with people being a bit kinder than today. Neighbours shared with the poor, with people getting along a little better than now.

We even embraced our religious beliefs to en extent that when it was Christmas time everyone was Christian and when it was Mubarak everyone was a Muslim,” she joked, much to the pleasure of her audience.

She spoke about how everyone took care of each other and that there was no such thing as an orphan back then.

Things took a serious turn when she spoke of the struggles they faced as a result of racial laws.

“Back in those days people were classified by skin colour. If you own sister had fairer skin than you they could be classified as white and if you were darker you could be called black or coloured. There were privileges if you were white but it was tough if you were classified black.

We weren’t allowed to sit in public benches; even on the trains, you could only take the 3rd class carriage,” she said.

Mpondo said that they will continue to host the events in other townships.

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