Mandela Day the WOWZULU way
The N3 Gateway and Africa!Ignite have become strong partners in the tourism and rural development space.
Africa!Ignite is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s leading rural development agencies. They use their extensive rural footprint to partner with communities, so that they can participate fairly in the economy and society, and make their voices heard. Africa!Ignite programmes help women and youths to earn a decent living; develop sustainable enterprises; learn usable skills; tell their stories; protect their health and environment; and improve their quality of life.
N3 Gateway has been working with Africa!Ignite on several exciting projects including the proposed development of a Business Development Support Centre in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Since 2010, Africa!Ignite and its partners have established vibrant ‘WOWZULU Marketplaces’ in recognised tourist destinations across KwaZulu-Natal; as an additional strategy to alleviate poverty and ignite rural enterprise. The contemporary; colourful ‘WOWZULU Marketplaces,’ combine craft sales with vibrant cultural experiences and attractions such as coffee shops, story-telling, rural home stays and opportunities to learn craft techniques.
One such WOWZULU market place is in Inanda Valley at the Ohlange Institute. On Mandela Day Africa!Ignite invited their partners and friends to join them on a WOWZULU Inanda Educational. The tour was guided by WOWZULU and Durban Green Corridor staff and it gave guests some very interesting insights into the liberation heritage and cultural history of South Africa. The Ohlange Institute was founded by John Langalibalele Dube in 1900. Dube was a founder member and first president of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) which was renamed as the African National Congress (ANC) in 1923. It was also where Nelson Mandela chose to cast his vote in the 1994 elections, and hence it was a special place to visit the Institute on the 18th of July.
From the Ohlange Institute the tour took everyone to Umzinyathi Village and Ma Mtshali’s house where we were treated to an authentic Zulu village experience, which included having to stitch our own beaded bracelets and tasting traditional Zulu uMqombothi (beer). We also helped to plant a small vegetable garden in the village. The group then enjoyed a superb lunch at the Ohlange Rocks Junction which delivered superb views over the hillls, vibrant village and community below.
It was certainly an experience and exercise befitting of the day and it emphasised the importance of working together to build a better South Africa.