The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation hosted a series of events under the banner, @Kathrada90 in honour of anti-apartheid struggle stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada would have turned 90 on August 21.
The exciting string of events were kicked off by a women’s month celebration which paid tribute to several women who contributed selflessly to the resistance against apartheid and participated in the 1956 women’s march. The commemorative event was hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation as well as the Sophie & Henry De Bruyn Foundations at the Constitutional Hill Women’s joal on August 4.
Struggle heroines Helen Joseph, Lilian Ngoyi, Rahima Moosa, Vesta Smith, Mary Moodley and Albertina Sisulu were remembered at the event which saw human and gender rights activist, Elinor Sisulu as well as Ahmed Kathrada Foundation board member and one of the leaders of the march, Sophie Williams De- Bruyn speak.
Sisulu called on South Africans, the youth in particular, to read more and know their history. During her address she pointed out that when students, during the #FeesMustFall protests called for a free and decolonized education a clear concept of such an education system was never really ironed out. “My understanding of a decolonized education is about knowing your own history, celebrating it and affirming your own heroes.”
At the occasion, two publications were also launched, one on the life of trade unionist and anti-apartheid activist Mary Moodley and another on Albertina Sisulu. The booklets form part of a growing list of publications produced by the Kathrada Foundation.
Sophie Williams De Bruyn, who was part of the 1956 Women’s March also spoke at the event.
On August 21, the foundation, in celebrating the 90th birth anniversary of Ahmed Kathrada, hosted a donors breakfast at Constitutional Hill.
The breakfast was in aid of raising funds to install a permanent exhibition to celebrate the life and contribution of a remarkable South African.
A draft design presentation was done by Dreamfuel Media who will be undertaking the project.
To end the day on a high note, the Foundation hosted a special screening of a documentary by Nick Stadlen titled, ‘Life is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes’.
Set around the Rivonia Trial, the documentary features freedom fighters Mandela and his co-defenders. The screening which was hosted on the birth date of what would have been Ahmed Kathrada’s 90th birthday saw activists George Bizos, Barbara Hogan and … Sisulu in attendance. A discussion and reflective session on the legacy of Ahmed Kathrada followed.
On August 30, the Foundation together with Lawyers for Human Rights brought together several organisations and likeminded individuals to a discussion on migration, xenophobia and disinformation. The discussion looked into how government and other stakeholders, including NGO’s and the member have been responding to disinformation.
Panelists from organisations such as Statistics South Africa, the Migrant Help Desk, African Diaspora Forum, the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa were among those present. Attendees agreed that a collective effort was required to tackle the anti-migrant sentiment.
On August 31, a discussion entitled Unpacking the #GuptaLeaks was hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Strengthening Democracy Programme, in association with OUTA. This seminar took place at GIBS Business School on Saturday, August 31, with a fully-packed auditorium of just over 100 attendees. Presentations were rendered by investigative journalists Susan Comrie and Pieter Louis Myburgh; and a live demonstration of their #GuptaLeaks search engine was presented by Rudie Heyneke from OUTA. OUTA’s Erich Neethling joined the panel discussion, which sparked a dynamic, albeit concerned discussion around the future of South Africa, particularly with regards to holding the Gupta family and their affiliates, who are implicated in state capture, to account.
To end the series of activities, on Sunday, 1 September, the Kathrada Foundation hosted a music concert at the Gandhi Hall in honour of late struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada. Young people from the Lenasia, Lenasia south, Orange Farm, Lehae, Thembelihle, Protea Glen, Lawley, Ennerdale, Finetown and Eldorado Park where the Kathrada Youth Clubs have been piloted, were present. The youth showcased amazing talent through song, dance and poetry items. Guest speakers included young author Karabo Nkoli and Dr Shakira Choonara an alumni of the Kathrada Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programme. Musicians Danny K and Kabelo Mabalane kept the youth entertained and informed with their presentation titled ‘Worlds Apart or Partners’.
On Heritage Day (September 4), the foundation will host The Ahmed Kathrada Legacy Walk in the town in which Ahmed Kathrada was born- Shweizer Reneke.
This commemorative event intends to bring together the community of Schweizer- Reneke to celebrate the life of Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada who would have turned 90 on August 21, 2019.
The fun filled family walk/ run aims to bring together people of different backgrounds, cultures and race to celebrate the struggle icon, whose life was centred around bridging social and racial divides while celebrating the diversity South Africa possesses.
‘Uncle Kathy’ as fondly remembered, participated in various family walks and stood witness to people from different communities coming together to celebrate a common cause.
The walk is set ot begin at 9AM at the Laerskool Schweizer Reneke (7 Oliver Street, Schweizer- Reneke).