29 October 2012

Village aged access museum too

 Picture Story: Zongezile Matshoba

The 13 elderly people from Tshabo village near Berlin visited Albany Museum 
as part of Access-to-the-Museum project, funded by Lotto.
All of them alluded to the fact that this was their first ever visit to any museum

Nozipho Madinda, the Mobile Museum Officer
welcomed them and took them around.

The elderly even visited the behind the scenes,
visiting departments such as the Herbarium

They enjoyed viewing galleries such as Mammals Gallery
where they saw many wild animals and birds

After a long journey and interesting interactions, they sat down,
enjoying themselves and reflected on their first ever Access-to-the-Museum

25 October 2012

Healing through dialogue

by: Zongezile Matshoba

A learner from Nombulelo High telling her story.

Albany Museum, through its Busy Bees project, ventured into other new grounds when it organised a three-day workshop on community dialogue and healing. The initiative, which was part of the Access-to-the-Museum programme funded by Lotto, was a collaboration with the Institute of Justice of Justice and Reconcilliation (IJR) in Cape Town. The aim of the workshop was to encourage young learners to open up about issues affecting their lives, their families and their communities, and how to deal with those issues.

Dumisani Budaza, a team member of the Busy Bees, also linked the workshop to the Project 200 Years where communities all over Makana are encouraged to imagine and reflect the 200 years of Grahamstown.

"Imaginations must begin with you, by changing, and the whole world will also change too," said Budaza. He encouraged the learners to be agents of social change. He emphasised the importance of self-discipline, self-respect, and equality in all spheres.

"We must be reflecting on the steps we can take to fix these things. Project 200 Years means putting things together, and mending the past".

Cecyl Essau, the IJR's Senior Project Leader for Schools Oral History took them through steps of oral history and oral traditions and their benefits. The learners were able to learn about sources, their biasness, selectiveness and perspective when it comes to stories and responses.

Kenneth Lukuko, Senior Project Leader for Community Healing has been the main contact between the Busy Bees team, and IJR. His session enabled the learners to tell their own stories, and to respect stories of other people.

"Community healing is about bringing confidence, bravery, respect ...," Lukuko counted some of the things that even the Lwandle Migrant Labourers in Strand managed to show after the interventions of IJR. Their stories were initially written by others, giving their own perspectives about them.

Over 40 learners from four high schools around Grahamstown benefitted immensely from the workshop. The schools were Nombulelo High, Nathaniel Nyaluza, Seventh Day Adventist Private School and TEM Mrwetyana. All learners were presented with certificates of attendance.

19 October 2012

New breed of heritage practitioners

By: Zongezile Matshoba

CONGRATS: Luvuyo Mayi holding
his IHRMP Cerificate 
Luvuyo Mayi, renowned for his passion of fossils under the guidance of Dr Billy de Klerk, and Khululwa Gxekwa, a volunteer at Albany Museum, joined over 40 graduates who sang and danced in jubilation after completing the heritage course at Rhodes University recently.

The first ever course in Integrated Heritage Resources Management Practice is a newly formed qualification aimed at speeding the process of unearthing scarce heritage practitioners.

"This has been established to develop professional in the sector," said Professor Heila Lotz-Sistika.

It has been developed by the South African Heritage Resource Agency in conjunction with the university.

Several stakeholders involved in the successful development and implementation of the course also paid tribute to its over 91% success rate.

Xolisile Fina, Provincial Coordinator of the Construction Seta said that the calibre of these cadres show that they are "role models that will be followed by others ... trail blazers that will push boundaries ... first fruits ... the Chosen Ones".

That was further emphasised by Mbhazima Makhubele, a Deputy Director in the national Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), who echoed that they are "heritage practitioners on the ground who will continuously improve their knowledge ...as culture and heritage are at the centre of national agenda".

 Somadoda Fikeni also reaffirmed that the graduates, as master seeds that have been planted, must go and be ambassadors of heritage. Fikeni, the Chairperson of Sahra, was thanking everyone for making the programme a success.