Georgetown High history retold in new book

2016-10-12 06:00
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile At the book launch (from left) Judge Chris Nicholson, Dr Bheki Mngomezulu (Mzala Nxumalo Centre CEO) and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile At the book launch (from left) Judge Chris Nicholson, Dr Bheki Mngomezulu (Mzala Nxumalo Centre CEO) and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

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THE MZALA Nxumalo Centre for the Study of South African Society on Tuesday officially launched a book on the first black high school in Pietermaritzburg,
Georgetown High.

The book titled Strive for Excellence: A Social and Political History of Georgetown High School was launched at the school in Edendale and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande delivered a keynote address.

Addressing current and former pupils, Nzimande, who matriculated from Georgetown in 1975, said he was very proud of the school’s historical background.

“I still have fond memories of the school after 41 years. History is important and that is why it was important for this book to come to fruition. The Cubans say a nation that does not know its history has no future. I am very passionate about local history and believe Edendale is rich with local history and Georgetown is part of that history.”

Nzimande said pupils should be encouraged to pursue history related careers.

“As the government, we must not make the mistake of forgetting about subjects like history. It is important in the preservation of our stories.”

He said he would like to see a second book with selected profiles of luminaries the school has produced over the years published.

The book, written by the Mzala Nxumalo Centre CEO, Dr Bheki Mngomezulu, is the first book to be published by the centre since its inception last year.

Mngomezulu said the book focuses on historical accounts of the school and explores its future prospects.

“The book takes you down memory lane from when the school was established in Ashdown. When reading it you will find sections that will make you laugh and at the same time some events that unfolded will make you cry.”

He said at a broader level the book looks at the political and social life within which the school evolved.

“There are passages in the book that capture the seven day war that took place in 1990 and the relationship between the ANC, UDF, and Cosatu. It is not just a historical book, but a critical analysis of how the school came to be what it is today.”

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