NHC Funding Committee chairperson, Colonel Sipho Manombozi and CEO Advocate Sonwabile hand over a cheque to one of the beneficiaries. Picture: Virgilatte Gwangwa

As September marks heritage month, the National Heritage Council (NHC) is celebrating the month by awarding more than twenty-five organisation dealing with heritage projects funding to assist in their projects.

The heritage funding handover event at Freedom Park saw some of the recipients dressed in their cultural clothes.

Colonel Sipho Majombozi, NHC’s funding committee chairperson said the event was to support and congratulate those who will be receiving funding. He said the day was also to inspire others who wish to put together a heritage project but are without funding. 

“Society is sustained by heritage as much as it is by the economy. And sometimes heritage is not viewed as important but it is very much as important as it has a spiritual quality that when you see something, even if it’s not yours, you feel good in the soul and spirit and that’s a good thing,” he said.

The council’s CEO, Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa said many projects which were started by community based organisations and heritage activists did not succeed due to a lack of funds. He said financial institutions and donors rarely supported heritage initiatives that contribute to the preservation and promotion of African heritage.

“It is the vision of the NHC to contribute to building a nation that is proud of its African heritage. This vision implores the NHC to devote its efforts towards the decolonisation and emancipation of the African voice. These projects therefore enable the communities to own their heritage, preserve and promote it with pride,” he said.

Among the recipients is Gauteng’s i-Afrika Theatre Education which aims to unearth the struggle of Tsakane in Johannesburg and document all local unsung heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle. 

The project will also document how the local heroes contributed to the legacy of Nelson Mandela as one of the founding fathers of the democracy.

I-Afrika Theatre Education will receive a funding of R100 000.

“The People’s Poet” Mzwakhe Mbuli attended the event and rendered a poem.