Chris Hani District Municipality acting executive mayor, Mthethunzima Jack
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Chris Hani District Municipality has a list of activities lined up as part of its heritage month celebrations.

Addressing the media during the municipality’s business breakfast, acting executive mayor, Mthethunzima Jack, said they had decided to celebrate heritage month as well as showcase the district’s tourism potential.

“The theme of this year’s celebrations is ‘The year of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu: united in restoring and celebrating our living heritage’.

“This is in line with the national call to honour the two stalwarts in their 100 years,” he said.

He said the area had a rich history and prided itself as the launching pad for the national liberation heritage route in 2008, which gave birth to the CHDM liberation heritage route.

Jack said this year’s celebrations would begin on Friday with indigenous games in Komani, where CHDM employees would take on the sector departments, with the intention of fostering unity and encouraging a culture of wellness, while preserving and promoting heritage.

“On the same day, a prominent academic, Dr Somadoda Fikeni, will be sharing his indigenous knowledge, history and politics with the people of this district in the Komani town hall,” he said.

The theme of this year’s celebrations is ‘The year of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu

Other celebrations will include pupils competing in writing essays, reading and a spelling bee on September 13 in Emalahleni municipality.

  • On September 15, the district municipality, together with the Chris Hani craft hub, will host the annual Chris Hani fashion show and the district’s jockeys will compete on the day in the traditional horse racing competition in Intsika Yethu municipality, as part of the build-up to the Berlin November;
  • On September 29, the district’s choirs will compete at the Chris Hani choral music competition, which will be held in Komani; and
  • On September 29, the celebrations will be closed by the annual Chris Hani jazz festival, which will be held at Mlungisi Stadium in Komani.

Jack said Komani was known as a jazz town in the Eastern Cape.

The event will celebrate the town’s heritage, and also help develop local jazz artists.

It will be attended by Dumza Maswana and the Jaziel Brothers.

Chris Hani District Municipality head of integrated planning and economic development, Sibongile Mbotshane, said to encourage local jazz bands, they would be provided with a stipend, with 60% going towards development and 40% for transport and other aspects.

Mbotshane said they were in talks with the organisers of the Berlin November, with the hope of developing it into a bigger event.

“It is the first time in the history of this event in the district that we have included a fashion show in the event.

“The only challenge with the event is that they don’t have a stable place where they are hosting the event, and as the district, we are prepared to assist them with building a structure where they can host the horse racing,” he said.

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