A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

miscellaneous news
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

STATUE OF PROPHET (article first published : 2003-03-8)

It is befitting that the eThekwini Municipality has taken a conscious step to recognizing one of the most prolific and celebrated sons of the municipality for posterity by commissioning a sculpture on the Prophet Isaiah Mloyiswa Mdliwamafa Shembe, 1870-1935.

It is equally important that the first post-apartheid public sculpture to be located in central Durban is dedicated to one of the most important “militant anti-colonial resistance heros, not merely an apolitical quietist”, the Prophet Isaiah Mloyiswa Mdliwamafa Shembe. Paying tribute to this key figure in regional history in the form of a statue on the Durban seafront, where he is said to have performed a miracle to part the waters, is a very significant accolade to his contributions to the Municipality.

The erection of the statue will enrich the beachfront as a site of cultural history, not merely of contemporary recreation. It will also allow people of African origin to “reclaim” the beaches in the awareness that historically - in pre-apartheid times - they were in use by all communities.

The project will shift the broader public awareness of significant components of local heritage- such as historical African spiritual movements - from the current municipal margins (Inanda) to the centre. It will also provide another destination for emerging tour operator’s city centre itinerary. This will encourage tourists with enough time to go further out to the historic Inanda area and visit Ekuphakameni - the Church’s original citadel - along with the other heritage sites currently in the municipality.

The Nazarite Baptist Church is also responsible for two major festivals every year - in January the Church goes on pilgrimage for two weeks to its “Mount Sinai” in northern Ndwedwe and returns to its headquarters for a closing week. In July - the climax festival - many thousands come from all over KZN and other provinces. As the history of African Christianity in South Africa becomes better known in the wider world, these festivals will begin to draw substantial numbers of overseas visitors.

The January and July festivals have the potential to become landmarks on the annual calendar of KZN culture as they offer to South African and international tourists a nationally unparalleled spectacle of authentic local Zulu culture (in contrast to the present artificial “tourist villages”).

Certainly the Church today is both expanding rapidly at different levels of African society, and receiving much attention in the popular media (local press, global television, etc).

Further information from Thembinkosi Ngcobo: Head: Parks, Recreation, Cemeteries and Culture Unit on 031 362 4211 or the Acting Deputy Head: Heritage Department, Rooksana Omar on 031 311 2222.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart