In commemoration of fallen local struggle icons in Nemato, Ndlambe Municipality in cooperation with the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) unveiled a newly restored monument at the entrance to the township on the eve of Heritage Day.
The above mentioned stakeholders renovated the long vandalised monument which is inscribed with the names of fallen local freedom fighters situated at the entrance of Nemato, and also donated 100 masks and South African flags to two local schools – Station Hill Primary School and Dambuza Primary School.
Names appearing on the monument are Madodana Tolo Tyuka, Tandile Ray, Beckson Kuhlane, Mzuvukile Mkrakra, Phindile Nyathela and Xolile Maneli.
District manager Nomathamsanqa Gobozi-Nibe described the monument renovation as taking pride in an asset of the community. She added that the donation of the masks together with a South African flag to the two schools was practicing that which the fallen heroes stood for – serving the community.
In her speech Gobozi-Nibe emphasised the meaning of monument. She went on to describe the monument as the visibility of South African history for the next generation.
“This is pride to us. When we build statues and something like this we want our children to stop and ask what had happened here, and our history should be narrated in that way while it is existing and visible. I wish we as the community – and I don’t want to say the government because this is the community’s asset – would protect our asset,” she said.
According to Gobozi-Nibe, talking about their history would instil pride and the meaning of heritage in the community. “It is nice to talk about these things so that people will know that we need to protect our heritage assets, so that there will be a highest degree of honour to these people we are honouring today,” she said.
She went on to direct her speech to her colleagues, saying that the interpretation of what those fallen heroes stood for should be continued. She also asked the Ndlambe Municipality to look after the monument.
Assistant director at DSRAC’s museum heritage section, Zandisile Sakata echoed Gobozi-Nibe’s words by saying: “Let’s not forget that we when talk about heritage we have to ensure that we respect it.
“One author once said ‘Heritage is not heritage when it is heritage, heritage is heritage when it is respected’. But if we do not respect this heritage we will never have heritage. That is why we are here to say this is our heritage and we suppose to celebrate it. We are supposed to protect, preserve and promote our heritage.”