The winners of the Golden Shield Heritage Awards 2015 received their shields at a ceremony that was held at the Gallagher Convention Centre on 18 September. An audience of approximately 400 people dressed in all sorts of cultural dress that reflected the diverse heritages of South Africa witnessed the awards.
The Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mondli Gungubele gave an insightful address about the importance of heritage in nation building especially in a young democracy. Many listened with keen interest and refined interest.
The CEO of the NHC, Adv Sonwabile Mancotywa says “The winners, finalists and all the nominees are an integral part of shaping the future heritage of this country. The winners especially, have distinguished themselves through their work and the amout of effort in protecting and promoting South African heritage”.
WINNERS IN TEN CATEGORIES
1 – World Heritage Site of the Year
For this category the panel will have the liberty to award a World Heritage site as declared by UNESCO as the South Africa’s World Heritage site of the Year based on research through newspaper articles, the management plan of the site, telephone interviews, and any other source document that they see fit in coming to a rational decision.
Winner: Robben Island
2 – Favourite World Heritage Site
The nominators and nominees will choose one of their favourite sites from a list of 8 World Heritage Sites. The site with the highest vote will be the winner in the category. The sites that receive the second and third highest number of votes will be the runners-up.
Winner: Robben Island
3 – Local Government Commitment
This category will recognise a municipality that has made outstanding contributions to local, regional or provincial heritage/history through innovative programs that educate, interpret or promote public awareness of their heritage and history (province/municipality) excellence in research, writing or publishing.
Winner: Chris Hani District Municipality
developed and adopted the Chris Hani Liberation Route which is also used as tourism destination routes. As a municipality developed a liberation route booklet and Digital Video documentary that outlines 56 liberation heritage sites while informing the community and learners about the role that liberation struggle icons play.
And finally, they also developed a comprehensive heritage strategy that highlights the development and preservation of all heritage sites within the district.
4 – Academic Excellence
This award will recognise an academic institution that has initiatives / programmes that promote knowledge production in heritage. The category recognises excellence of research (individual/organisational) conducted on any subject of heritage. The work must be unique and the first to be done in South Africa. All public and private tertiary institutions that offer academic accredited qualifications and are based in South Africa will be considered in this category.
Winner: no winner for 2015
5 – Outstanding Funded Community project
In this category, the NHC shall select one of its beneficiary projects that displayed; a well-executed project that was delivered within the submitted plan and particularly set timeframes. Such a project should contribute in changing lives in the communities it targets, derive economic benefit for communities; contribute towards poverty alleviation and also empower communities with skills for self-sustenance. The project should also contribute towards making such communities aware of their heritage, leads to tangible effects in preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in South Africa.
Winner: Phambili Marimba
has trained 8 marimba teachers from different schools to capacitate youth through practical training. Up to 800 learners have been exposed to playing marimba instruments and traditional songs across 11 official languages. They initiated a marimba competition, in which schools in and around Gauteng competed. The group has been contracted to perform at events and to create revenue for their sustainability.
6 – Heritage Leadership
In this category the NHC shall select and award a person, people or institution based on the relevant discourse and occurrences at the time. The Nominees would have a track record of playing a leading role in matters of heritage.
Winner: Mr Vusi Madonsela
7 – Preferred Heritage Destination
Nominees of this category can for example be, a heritage site, museum, leisure facility, interpretation centre, etc. that offers visitors an exceptional experience of cultural heritage and history of South Africa. It will be an added advantage for the ‘Preferred Heritage Destination’ to be an example that demonstrates an ever-evolving, popular and effective tourism product that engages with people of all ages.
Winner: Parys Museum
is situated in a World Heritage Site known as the Vrede Fort Dome in the Free State. It showcases all aspects of history, heritage and knowledge development in the Ngwathe area. The Parys Museum society is actively involved in addressing poverty alleviation and job creation, using the principles of entrepreneurship. They are all about promotion of nation building, equality and redressing of historical imbalances. They actively encourage other members of the community to participate in skills & knowledge transfer as well as promoting capacity building within the youth community.
8 – Young Heritage Activist
Young persons of not older than 35 years can be nominated in this category. The person must have a proven track record of passionately contributing to heritage awareness of a community or even nationally. The work of the nominee for which he/she is nominated must make the nation proud of the rich heritage of this country and its people. The person must be an active community activist who is recognised in the area where he/she operates.
Winner: Mr. Leonard Mckay
is a passionate person with a sense for community development, an artist who participate in different heritage projects.He has been a facilitator of Adam Louw Digters Forum in Kakammas since 2007. Mckay has guided youth to participate in poetry competitions like the SABC 2 Lentswe Poetry Project Team leader of a youth team who run the Kakamas tourism. He has contributed towards the eventual display of visual artworks in new Northern Cape legislature building project. Runs a mosaic arts project where he transfers skills to the youth to become entrepreneurs. Contribute in the project: Teach2Preach in which the Kakamas youth are taught on how best to protect the environment.
9 – Heritage Ambassador
Whilst this category welcomes nominees of all ages, a focus shall be on ages between 35 and 50 years in the case of individuals. Organisations are also invited to participate as nominees in this category. The nominee must have achieved remarkable milestones in promoting, protecting, preserving and/or conserving South African heritage in the democratic era. A proven track record of passionately contributing to heritage awareness nationally or even internationally will be required. The work of the nominee for which he/she is nominated must make the nation proud of the rich heritage of this country and its people.
Winner: Tando Songwevu
is the Founder of EMBO Media, which shares and develops best practices and techniques to preserve cultural heritage. She promotes the South African cultural heritage globally—through her partnership with the universities of Michigan State University and the University of California. International students are taken to Mapungubwe WHS (World Heritage Site), which mainly focuses on writing of papers and presentations in conferences in the United States.
Cultural tours are co-ordinated where the students explore food, dance, and spirituality by visiting traditional healers and learn about indigenous knowledge system. Television presenter of the SABC 1 show that promotes African spirituality, nation building, heritage, indigenous languages, reaffirms African values and African identity. She runs cultural seminar in which she links the grass roots, youth, cultural activists and the academia. During the heritage month, she works with the Alexander community on issues around culture, language heritage and spirituality for young people in promoting national identity.
10 – National Living Treasure:
The nominees in this category must have promoted and advocated the significance or revival of Intangible Cultural Heritage over the years. This award recognises an elder who is highly involved in transferring traditional art forms such as rug weaving, storytelling, pottery and design, as well as other forms that are considered intangible
The nominees are expected to be persons who promote community events, volunteer time on a regular basis, take on leadership role and encourage others to get involved. People who qualify for this awards shall always be 50 years and older.
Winner: Mr Vuka Tshabalala:
Is the Founder and CEO of the James Mpanza Legacy Foundation Trust, he started the first township based living museum, the Magebula Mpanza Museum. This museum was declared a provincial heritage site on 24 September 2011. The museum is visited by over 4200 tourists a month, in which they are informed about the establishment of Soweto and surrounding areas. The James Mpanza Legacy foundation has collected and documented oral history for the purpose of developing heritage products since 2011. They are currently working with the local visual artists on the Mooki street heritage trail, which has eight heritage sites.
National Heritage Council Media Release