Sunday 14 April 2024

Messy Matters Book Launch written by Ayanda Simelane

ARROWSA management and alumni were part of Dr Mary Lange of Mel. Arts. Culture. Heritage's book launch of Messy Matters on 14 March 2024 at Bergtheil Museum. Ms Mohau Qalaza of Durban Local History Museums was the Programme Director. Library Services from the Pinetown District of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and local schools were also represented by Ms Sikosana, Ms Nzimande and Ms Sabela.
The book launch began with the acting out of extracts from the book, with Dr Lange as the narrator and ARROWSA alumni Miss Noluthando Shandu and Mr Njabulo Nxumalo as performers. They presented impressive talent and captivated the audience, which was an important feature of the book. They discussed the love of little creatures and trees and the importance of respecting nature and our interdependence on nature and each other. The book is multilingual and relates to different communities in South Africa and is an important tool for creative and performing arts teaching and learning. It is also about telling stories and what these stories teach children. The team that worked on the book reflected on their experiences of working on the book , such as the layout artists Saskia van Meeulen and, illustrator Kathlyn-Sue Allan and isiZulu translator Nomusa Mabaso. . Speeches were also made by ARROWSA Management including Bheki Dlamini who reflected on his role as educator advisor on Messy Matters. and Prof Lauren Dyll, CCMS, UKZN, who presented a positive review of Messy Matters.
Contributors to the book who could not be present sent video messages. These included from ARROWSA chairperson Luthando Ngema, editor Prof Roger Fisher and Nama and Afrikaans translator Pedro Dâusab. Over 50 books were handed over to schools.
One off framed prints of illustrations from Messy Matters book were sold to raise funds for ARROWSA alumni Noluthando Shandu and Jabu Nxumalo to go to the UK in an arts, culture and heritage exchange with Indra Collective. To order a framed print or donate towards Noluthando and Jabu's trip email
To view videos of the book launch filmed and edited by Vincent Joseph Salanji go to

The Durban Local History Museums’ Passbook Competition 2024 written by Ayanda Simelane

ARROWSA has continued to be a valuable partner of the Passbook Competition since its inception in 2013. The Competition once again invites schools from different parts of eThekwini to visit museums, take part in planned activities and stand a chance to win prizes. It is open to Grades 4 to 11, and schools that cater for Learners with Special Needs (LSEN) are also welcome.
The 2024 instalment of this competition was launched at its Educators' Workshop on 5 March 2024 at the Westville Civic Centre led by Ms Mohau Qalaza and her LHM team. The theme for the year is 'The Right to Vote Reflections 30 Years Later!' which will be integrated with the various components of the Competition, from visual arts submissions to written submissions and performing arts.
The competition links museum education andclassroom learning, focusing on history, heritage and creative arts. ARROWSA is committed to continuing this long-term partnership in 2024. The programme director at the launch was Dr Mary Lange, a long-standing member of ARROWSA management and the founder of MeL: Arts. Culture. Heritage (MeL). Ayanda Simelane, a member of the Passbook Competition Committee and ARROWSA management, also spoke at the launch. She deliberated on the education component, mainly focusing on grade-specific activities incorporating the History and Social Sciences curricula and the theme.
The visits to museums and other heritage institutions will commence on 4 April and will be open until mid-August. Auditions for the performing arts component, Abasha Bash! The finals will be held on 13 and 14 May and 13 June. During that week, visitors from Bremen, Germany will be participating in the Abasha Bash! The final phase of the Competition will be the Prize Giving Ceremony, which is due to take place on 19 September. ARROWSA plays an important role in adjudicating submissions and ARROWSA alumni, with MeL, in facilitating visits to the Palmiet Nature Reserve, which is a participating site.