By Ruvesen Naidoo
On Tuesday, 25 May, The Albany Museum hosted the provincial celebrations for International Museum Day, following the District celebrations held by Amazwi Museum. Present at the event was the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) MEC Nonceba Kontsiwe, various Makhanda schools, and other guests.
The schools present, Archie Mbolekwa Primary, Andrew Moyake, Khutliso Daniels Secondary, T.E.M. Mrwetyana, Nathaniel Nyaluza Senior Secondary and Mary Waters High School, were intrigued by the speeches shared by the guest speakers, all in the spirit of this year’s theme – ‘Museums, Sustainability and Well-being’.
During her speech, Kontsiwe highlighted the significance of the day taking place during Africa Month. Kontsiwe said, “We are celebrating International Museum Day since 46 years ago when the International Council of Museums was formed.” She added that the “Objective of the day is to create awareness of the museums as museums serve an integral role of sharing our histories.”
Amazwi Museum of Literature general manager, Beverley Thomas, says, “The theme was proposed by the International Council of Museums as it focused on three of the United Nations’ sustainable goals.”
Ward 2 Councillor, Ramie Xonxa, said, “Museums are based on literature and culture of the people’ and that it enables communication between people of different cultures.” Xonxa adds that “In museums, we always have dialogues, dialogues that relate to our cultures.”
Albany Museum Board of Trustees member Lindile Jela says, “Albany Museum allows for research and information to be shared between all sectors of the community”. He adds that the day’s celebrations of the international day of Museums allow for the museum to “Pledge our continued support for the development of our society”. Jela also shared, “We stand as Albany Museum to glorify our past, appreciate our present and anticipate a better future for our society”.
Focusing on the theme of the day, Jela says that “Sustainable development…serves the needs of the present generation without compromising the right of future generations to enjoy their development.”
Touching more on DSRAC’s contributions to the awareness of museums in communities, Kontsiwe said, “This year, as a Department, we going to focus on commemorating the 204 years of wars of resistance,” making reference to Eastern Cape’s past wars.
By doing so, DSRAC purchased 204 pairs of school shoes which will be donated to learners in need in schools of Makhanda.
Andile Nduna, Manager of Communications at DSRAC, says that this purchase of school shoes underpins “The department’s commitment to the education and encourages learners to attend school and become knowledgeable on histories of both themselves and of the world.”
Thembela Makaula, Regional manager at Old Mutual in Nelson Mandela Bay Region, says that although Old Mutual did not contribute to the day’s celebrations, they work closely with both DSRAC and the Department of Social Development by supporting their development programs across the Eastern Cape. “We recently partnered with DSRAC by building tennis courts in Maletswai as part of the department’s social development programs,” says Makaula.
The celebrations featured guided walks around the museum’s exhibitions for schools as well as educational speeches given by guest speakers in attendance.