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Last modified: 03 Nov 2015
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Kouga hosts provincial Heritage Day celebrations

25 September 2015
Misiwe Jujwana of Uzuko Lwethu Sewing Projects (centre) shows some of her materials to Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle (second from right). With them are (from left) Vuyiseka Nokhenke from DSRAC, Ward 9 Councillor Xolisile Persent, Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas and Tourism and Creative Industries Portfolio Chairperson Virginia Camealio-Benjamin.

Misiwe Jujwana of Uzuko Lwethu Sewing Projects (centre) shows some of her materials to Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle (second from right). With them are (from left) Vuyiseka Nokhenke from DSRAC, Ward 9 Councillor Xolisile Persent, Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas and Tourism and Creative Industries Portfolio Chairperson Virginia Camealio-Benjamin.

Sarah Baartman was the defining feature of the official Eastern Cape Heritage Month celebrations, which took place in Kouga in September.

The main event took place at the Hankey Secondary School on Heritage Day, 24 September, and was addressed by Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle.

The event paid homage to Sarah Baartman, the Khoi icon who embodied great human suffering and whose remains were returned from France to be buried in Hankey in 2002.

This year marks approximately 200 years since Baartman’s death and saw the former Cacadu District Municipality officially launch its new name as part of the celebrations. It is now known as the "Sarah Baartman District Municipality" (SBDM).

At the unveiling of the new name, SBDM Executive Mayor Eunice Kekana said the renaming of the district municipality symbolised the restoration of dignity to Sarah Baartman.

"Sarah Baartman represents all of us. The story of our suffering, as women and as Africans in general, is told through her. We are proud to be the custodians of that rich history and of being the only district in the province to be named after a woman," said Kekana.

Addressing the almost 2000-strong crowd, the Premier decried the continued abuse of women.

"We need to deal with the increase in the number of violent crimes perpetrated against women in our country.

"Sarah Baartman’s spirit cannot rest when women continue to be victims of gender-based violence," he said.

He referred to an incident in Bloemfontein where the mutilated genitalia of 21 women had been discovered in the fridge of a man of Danish origin earlier that week.

"The brutality of this act and its ironic similarities with Sarah Baartman - pickled brains and genitalia in a French Museum - must be communicating a deeply spiritual message," said Masualle

In the vote of thanks Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas thanked the provincial government for showing confidence again in Kouga as a host of significant events in the province.

"Working together, we continue to show that nothing is impossible when different arms of government complement each other in delivering on our various mandates," she said.

The main programme was preceded by a host of events, including, a legends soccer tournament, a schools colloquium and social dialogue.

The events were organised jointly by the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC), Kouga and the Sarah Baartman District Municipality.