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Mthethwa pays visit to legendary struggle icon Don Mattera at his Soweto home

Nathi Mthethwa with struggle Icon Don Mattera. Image: Twitter

Nathi Mthethwa with struggle Icon Don Mattera. Image: Twitter

Published Jan 20, 2022


Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa paid a visit to anti-apartheid activist, struggle icon, journalist and legendary poet Don Mattera at his Soweto home.

Mattera was a former board member of the Living Legends Fraternity Trust of which he is also a beneficiary.The initiative that was kicked off by the Department.

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“It was an honour to spend the afternoon with him today.In between the hustle and bustle today, I made a stop in Soweto at the home of one of the greatest icons to ever walk the planet. Don Francisco Mattera is not just a South African living legend, he is a global icon,” said Mthethwa on Wednesday.

Mattera has benefited from the Trust which aims to identify, capture, preserve, protect and promote the body of work of the Living Legends, wisdom and knowledge systems in a programmatic way.

Mthethwa said in 2020 that the esteemed individuals had a wealth of knowledge and experience with them and it is important to galvanise them and organise them into the trust programme in order to deepened engagements amongst themselves and share best practices as well as transfer intergenerational skills so that their legacy continues.

“This initiative is to engage our Living Legends actively in programmes that promote the arts and cultural development as well as providing opportunities for interaction and imparting skills, knowledge and experience to younger generations of artists.This programme is also intended to document and to archive, so that we ensure that the legacy of their work is preserved for the generations to come,”  he said.

Mthethwa said that together with the Department they have developed programmes that focus on several pillars.These he said include master class programmes, where legends like Mattera interact with universities and arts centres throughout the country, sharing their skills.

This will also include internally initiated programmes, where the legends memorialised some aspects of cultural heritage, indigenous knowledge system and showcasing their artistic talents, often in collaboration with young artists.

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“We are creating platforms to enable the legends to participate in build-up activities of the departmental supported flagship programmes.At the beginning of this year, the Department released the most recent research measuring the creative economy’s contribution to job creation - before COVID-19,” he said.

The Minister said that the trustees of the Trust are expected to manage funds on behalf of the organisation’s beneficiaries and not to line their own pockets.

Mthethwa explained that trustees of the Trust were selected from the beneficiaries of the Trust. “In order for one to be eligible to be a Beneficiary of the Trust he/she has to comply with the criteria for Living Legends as set out in Annexure “A” of the Trust Deed.

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The criteria is set out summarily as follows: beneficiaries must be nationally and internationally recognised and/or have a positive ongoing impact on the body of work influencing the arts and culture sector;have made an extraordinary contribution to the arts, heritage and culture industry;

Must be at least 70 years old and have been an Arts and Culture practitioner for at least 15 years and be a person of good standing in society,” he said

The Department has appointed an administrative team to assist in the coordination of the structure’s programmes.

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He said that the Department will also coordinate with provincial offices to ensure that provincial trust chapters are visible and active.