On 20 September 2022, the Limpopo Provincial Government Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture together with Kara Heritage Institute collaborated with the University of Venda (UNIVEN) to host the 2022 Limpopo Heritage Month Colloquium under the theme ‘Mapungubwe History and Heritage Sites. 

This event was attended by traditional leaders from several communities of Limpopo Province, as well as students and staff of the University of Venda. 

Prof Mathole Motshekga – Executive Director Kara Heritage Institute

When presenting about the Greater Mapungubwe Trans-Frontier Park and its meaning for cultural and socio-economic integration of the SADC region and Reclaiming Mapungubwe history and heritage for PAN African unity and social cohesion, the Executive Director Kara Heritage Institute, Prof Mathole Motshekga mentioned that Africa is the motherland where racism is not part of African culture. 

He said, “Our ancestors called us people without ethnic backgrounds. He urged the audience to know that before they became Xhosa, Ndebele or Shona, they are people, before they are classified into tribal things, they are people”. 

Prof Mathole Motshekga emphasised that Mapungubwe heritage is important as it is an integral part of our existence. African people have a common heritage. “We are divided because our school curriculum is not designed by our own people of African origin.” He further encouraged UNIVEN to partner with Kara Heritage Institute. “We should have a partnership so that our young people know that they were created in Africa and nowhere else.” 

In conclusion, he said, “We must begin to value our adult population as they are the custodian of our culture.” He mentioned that the African identity is something that has been there for ages. “Regard tribal names, your real identity is African.” He further said, “To be an African is to be the child of the sun, we are black because Africa is a sunny continent.” He declared UNIVEN as the home of African heritage. 

Dr. Bernard Nthambeleni – Vice-Chancellor and Principal

The colloquium was opened by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Venda, Dr. Bernard Nthambeleni. “It is a great privilege to welcome you all, we are honoured to host the heritage colloquium. He mentioned that the view of the University is that we should be catalysts in providing relevant knowledge. 

He highlighted that UNIVEN produces relevant output and research to help with the betterment of society. “Universities are not built to serve themselves but serve others to improve the quality of life. He said, “We are delighted to host this colloquium to showcase the Mapungubwe Heritage site.” 

The themes for this colloquium revolved around: Arts, Culture, and Heritage; Mapungubwe frontier Parks, their meaning for Cultural significance and Socioeconomic Integration of the SADC Region; as well as Reclaiming Mapungubwe History and Heritage Sites for Pan African Unity and Social Cohesion. 

Cllr Rose Mathaka

Cllr Rose Mathaka, introduced the Mayor of Thulamela Municipality, Cllr Sarah Rambuda. 

Cllr Sara Rambuda – Thulamela Municipality Mayor

Thulamela Municipality Mayor, Cllr Sara Rambuda gave an overview of Limpopo on Mapungubwe History and Heritage sites. She expressed that in celebrating heritage month, South Africans cannot be ignorant that African ancestors left 10 heritage sites in Limpopo to inherit. She said, “We wish to thank many researchers, especially Prof Victor Ralushai for his role in Mapungubwe as a heritage site in 2004.” 

She mentioned that it does not need rocket science to know the history; Mapungubwe is part of who Africans are. “We are here so that some of the many questions remaining in our lives are answered.” 

His Excellency David Hamadziripi – Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to South Africa

The Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to South Africa, His Excellency David Hamadziripi when giving a message of support, mentioned that he was pleased that the South African government has seen the need to maintain a close relationship with countries like Zimbabwe and Botswana. He said, “We should look at how to develop our intercultural relations through the Mapungubwe heritage Park.” He further said, “As united countries, we need wider public celebrations of the fact that we are people who are coming from the same place and find our place in the global process and village.” 

Honourable Tshenolo Modise – High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana

In her message of support, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana, Honourable Tshenolo Modise stated that it is upon all African countries to nurture the heritage sites. She said, “The biggest heritage that our ancestors left us is botho.” 

She mentioned that if we have inherited “botho”, things like racism or human trafficking should not exist. She emphasised that the Mapungubwe preservation site is way more than a tourism site. She said, “Botswana is eager to work with South Africa to ensure preserving heritage. She further said, “Here is a great potential to do this transfrontier, and let us make sure we know we are one.” 

Mr. Seane Mabitsela – Department of Human Sciences – Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education (UNIVEN)

Mr. Seane Mabitsela from the University of Venda, Department of Human Sciences in the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education, also gave a message of support. 

Adv. Edward Lambani – University Registrar

The University Registrar Adv. Edward Lambani proposed a vote of thanks. 

A cultural dance group from Bolobedu performing during the event 


Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 10 October 2022 

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