September is Heritage Month in South Africa. This year the theme for Heritage Month is “Celebrating the Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle in South Africa”.
This theme throws the spotlight on the idealism and heroism of those who fought to liberate the country from colonialism and apartheid. Their memories will be evoked, their sacrifices acknowledged.
Historical narratives of the struggle will be told through exhibitions, poetry, dance, songs, oral history and site visits to heritage sites invoking remembrance and promoting national identity.
Various heritage sites and infrastructures in South Africa are named after the liberation struggle icons:
- Sol Plaatjie Municipality in the Northern Cape
- Nelson Mandela Museum in the Eastern Cape
- Luthuli House in Gauteng
- Shaka Zulu Airport in KwaZulu-Natal
- Tshwane Municipality in Gauteng
- Steve Biko Memorial in the Eastern Cape.
Liberation struggle heroes from fields such as acting, literature, music, labour movements and so forth include Rahima Moosa, Bessie Head, Frances Baard, Ruth First, Princess Magogo, and Olive Schreiner.
South Africa also acknowledges the support and solidarity provided by its neighbouring African nation states during the era of oppression and there are heritage sites and infrastructures named after these iconic African leaders, such as the Samora Machel Monument at Mbuzini in Mpumalanga and the Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality in the North West.