Celebrating Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle

in Mjindini

MJINDI – The Mpumalanga Provincial government continues to celebrate and remember unsung heroes and heroines in the province who contributed immensely in the fight for liberation and freedom in the country. This emerged recently when the department of Culture, Sport and Recreation held an exhibition at the Barberton Museum in Mbombela City to showcase the heroic deeds that local people engaged in to usher freedom and democracy in the country.

The exhibition is a result of a research conducted by Mr Julius Matsebula on the Liberation Struggle in Mjindini Location between the 1970’s and 1990’s. The purpose of the study is to preserve the history of the liberation struggle and to establish a temporary exhibition in the museum for present and future generations to learn about our proud history and celebrate freedom and democracy. It will afford communities to learn about the sacrifices and bravery of a number of people from Umjindi (Barberton) during the liberation struggle.

One Celebrated Icon is Liberation struggle stalwart, Dr Enos Nganani Mabuza who was the former prime minister of KaNgwane government. He was involved in politics, conservation and business and campaigned for a quality education for people from the homelands. He advocated for peace in politics and set an example in business.

Dr Mabuza led the 19-man delegation to Lusaka, Zambia on 23 February 1986 to have talks with the African National Congress and he was welcomed as a hero upon his return.

Ms Ellen Cynthia Lindiwe Mokoena, another heroine, could not hold back her tears as the exhibition brought back sordid memories for her. She commended the department of Culture, Sport and Recreation and Mr Matsebula on taking the initiative to document her story. Her only wish was for her late parents to witness such a monumental moment.

“Tsuma” as she is affectionatly known, was the only woman detained with other comrades during the State of Emergency in 1986 in the area and was kept in solitary confinement for months. She survived and still lives with some pellets that were lodged in her body during skirmishes with security forces.

MEC for Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ms Norah Mahlangu says government is committed to honour struggle heroes and heroines in the province so that people in the province more especially the youth could know where we come from as a country.

“We are working hard to ensure that our people learn the correct history of our country and we will continue working towards correcting our history which was distorted by the apartheid regime though our museums like the Barberton Musuem,” MEC Mahlangu says.

The Barberton Museum, is a provincial museum managed by the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation and its mandate is to preserve and conserve the cultural and natural heritage of the local community.