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CD ROM PROMOTES KWAZULU (article first published : 1999-07-19)

For anyone in the business of attracting tourists or personal overseas visitors to KZN or even wanting to find out more about the land formerly known as Zululand, a new CD Rom titled A Land called Heaven provides an interesting, informative and attractively-designed visual documentation which can be enjoyed by anyone whose computer software allows them access to CD Rom.

A Land Called Heaven is what photographer Peter Engblom describes as his “personal multimedia journey through KwaZulu.” He has dedicated it to his ancestors who established a religious outpost in Zululand at the turn of the last century. “I have spent over a decade photographing the area, recording traditional rituals and ceremonies and searching for historic material in museums and archives to understand the place I call home.”

Peter Engblom knows his subject and knows it well. His excellent photographs vividly capture the essence of Zululand, the Zulu people and their history and, through it all, A Land Called Heaven reflects his respect for both the land and the people.

There are over 800 images as well as half an hour of video time, all accompanied by ten originally recorded Zulu songs. The sites have been divided into rooms - exhibitions can be visited in 10 virtual galleries and viewers can turn the pages of 15 virtual books in the library while a visit to the storeroom offers Zulu beadwork, sculpture and traditional medicines. The theatre has Zulu legends, folklore and history and a trip to the kitchen allows you to consult the cookbook and throw a Zulu dinner party complete with authentic food, décor and original Zulu music. You can even have your fortune told by the virtual Sangoma and win a trip to Zululand from anywhere on earth in the crazy Zulu quiz!

This product is the realisation of Peter’s long-held dream. He has worked in virtually all the history museums around South African, all the while gathering information. Eventually he felt the time had come so he locked himself away for a year, bought some software and taught himself how to make a CD Rom.

The music was recorded by Neil Snyman at DB Studios and the credits read like a virtual who’s who of those involved in Zulu research, literature, craft and music.

Peter has been invited to launched the CD Rom at a trade fair in the United States but before he leaves, A Land Called Heaven will be launched locally at the BAT Centre’s Zansi Restaurant on July 29 at 18h00 where it will be on sale at R300. Thereafter it will be sold through Gillian Berning, Phone 209-1302.


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