Monday 16 March 2015

Busy Busy 2015 ARROWSA First Quarter activities

The first quarter of 2015 has not even finished yet and it has been extremely productive for ARROWSA! Our school cultural educational programmes at the Bergtheil Museum are still popular, ARROWSA Bechet Indra is bursting with energy; Bheki Dlamini is preparing for the Plymouth Indra Congress in communication with Alix Harris;  a number of enthusiastic post graduate students from the Centre for Communication, Media and Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal are involved as volunteers; an research abstract written by Mary Lange and Luthando Ngema on the ARROWSA Palmiet Nature Reserve educational programmes has been accepted for an international Environmental and Indigineous Knowledge conference at UKZN; we are linked to two book publications by UNISA Press and the Passbook Competition with eThekwini Local History Museums is looking to once more be a big part of the year.

We've once more hosted schools at the Bergtheil Museum, Westville with our experiential educational programmes.  The learners particularly enjoy the storytelling, mock archaeological dig and experimental hut building and spear making.

Bheki Dlamini, supported by Michelle McClachlan, had inspired a large group of Grade 8 and 9 learners to join ARROWSA Bechet Indra's bi-weekly sessions. Many of the learners from 2014 have also returned, especially those who went on the ARROWSA Kalahari trip. The group is preparing for a production that celebrates Bechet High School's 60th year celebration.

Bheki and the ARROWSA Bechet Indra group

A presentation on ARROWSA was included in CCMS, UKZN's orientation day with a wonderful response from post-graduate students offering to volunteer in ARROWSA projects - especially the ARROWSA Bechet Indra project.  We look forward to including their enthusiastic talents and energy in the weekly sessions.
CCMS, UKZN post graduate student volunteers at ARROWSA Bechet Indra

ARROWSA is linked to the UNISA Press republication of Mooi Loop by Vetkat Regopstaan Kruiper that includes his artwork and his wife, Belinda Kruiper's poetry. ARROWSA was also a partner in the UNISA Press publication of Water Stories: Original !Garib narrations about the Water Snake. The book includes stories in English and Afrikaans by Nana de Wee, Maria Malo, Martha van Rooi, Bessa Sixaxa, Girlie Saaiman and Maku Hlopezulu. It was co-ordinated and edited by Mary Lange and is beautifully illustrated by Betta Steyn.  Dr David Morris wrote the Introduction and language specialist Pedro Dausab ensured that the Afrikaans brings across the colloquial nuances.

Water Stories storytellers - Maku, Girlie, Martha, Bessa and Nana

Luthando Ngema and Mary Lange are writing a paper on the ARROWSA natural and cultural heritage programmes at the Palmiet Nature Reserve, Bergtheil Museum and marketing related to the programmes.  The paper is due to be presented at the end of April.

Luthando with Gogo Aslina at the Palmiet Nature Reserve

ARROWSA is once more a partner in the eThewkini Local History Museum's Passbook Competition whereby learners not only learn about the 'dompas' through visiting various heritage sites in Durban but also can participate in a competition.  In 2014 five essay winning learners won a trip to Germany where they attended the Youth night in Bremen.  The trip was sponsored by the German Consulate and the Durban Museum Trust.  Besides many book and other prizes the winning school won 
R10 000 worth of IT equipment that was provided by the 
Durban West Community Tourism Organisation.

ARROWSA attends weekly Passbook Competition planning meetings with Local History Museum staff: Zimana, Thevan, Anthee, Valencia and intern, Lindiwe
An Educator's Workshop introduced them to the Passbook Competition 2015 concept and  workshopped their ideas on how it could be improved.
Palmiet Nature Reserve Committee management and educational programme facilitators: Jean Senogles and Warren Friedman attended the Passbook Competition workshop as the programmes at the Palmiet Nature Reserve in affiliation with ARROWSA are part of the competition.
Educators reported that they found the workshop very worthwhile and enthusiastically shared their ideas for the transformation of some of the aspects of the competition.
Thevan and Steve of Local History Museums led the workshop smoothly and competently.

We look forward to our year continuing as it has begun with many opportunities to reach out through art, culture and heritage towards a better present and future.