TO educate people about the rich history of Sobantu township, two young men from the township have started a heritage house project at the local council chamber offices.
Thulani Mngadi and Mazwi Cebekhulu, members of the Pietermaritzburg Artists Association, said the long-term plan is to get funding for a proper heritage house because they currently use municipal offices.
“We are concerned that most young people growing up in Sobantu township do not know about its history as it is the oldest township, and with abundance of talent. Our focus is to archive history about the performing and non- performing arts sectors, politics, religion, churches, sports, events , institutions and environmental disasters that affected our township.
“Some of our youth do not even know that the township is named after Bishop John Colenso from Bishopstowe who loved people, hence he was given the name. We have struggle stalwarts, Umkhonto we Sizwe cadres, jazz legends, music legends, soccer legends who came from this township, but people are unaware of this. The aim is to preserve the history of our township and celebrate our heritage.”
Mngadi said the project also aims to create job opportunities for unemployed youth as they will have sub- committees that will deal with research.
“Further to that we are hoping to make the area a tourism route and to also have a small publicity house which will be used as an information centre. This is not a political project, rather it is a community project and we are calling anyone who has information about the township to contribute towards the project.
We are calling people to come and help out in their numbers, whether it’s with old family photos, photos about the first houses in the township and unsung heroes from the township.
“The aim is not only to preserve history, but to motivate our youth as well to restore the township to its former glory.”
People who are interested in the project can visit the council chamber house offices next to Mfenendala community hall.