The 15th Annual National Oral History Conference was officially launched on 9 October 2018 at the Milnerton Library. The Conference will run until 12 October 2018 in the Western Cape and is hosted by the national Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and the Oral History Association of South Africa (OHASA) in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS).
The theme for the conference is Freedom and Egalitarianism: Nelson Mandela, the Symbol of Democracy, with a strong emphasis on the centenaries of former President Nelson Mandela and stalwart Albertina Sisulu.
A welcome message by Dr Tsepo Moloi, President of OHASA, was read in his absence and wished presenters and participants a memorable and successful conference.
Dr Mxolisi Dlamuka of DCAS Museums, Heritage and Geographical Services presented a message of support by the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais: “Oral history projects, personal histories and community experiences become shared heritage and it promotes social inclusivity and community development through sharing and understanding.”
The Deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Obed Bapela, said oral history promotes the richness of the African history and culture. “It is at the heart of existence of the traditional leadership”, he said.
The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Makhotso Sotyu, gave an overview of the history of former President Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu and their centenaries. She stressed the importance of well-documented history and wished the OHASA Executive Committee and delegates a fruitful conference. She also received the journal of the 2017 Annual National Oral History Conference from Prof Christina Landman.
Learners from Bridgetown, Thembalethu and Cape Town High caused quite a stir when they vibrantly recited their family tree research to the audience. They were introduced to a genealogy workshop prior to the conference. Other guest speakers at the conference are Judge Albie Sachs, Dr Yvette Abrahams and Shirley Gunn. The sub-themes and abstracts are available online.
Let us continue to keep the stories and experiences of the past alive so that future generations can celebrate our heritage. BETTER TOGETHER.