Museums and Learners awarded at International Museums day
The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture MEC Nonceba Kontsiwe awarded three museums and top three high school learners from their respective districts, who won TV screens, laptops, printer and hard drive for excelling projects and school competition at the International Museum Day (IMD) held in Makhanda on 25 May 2023.
The Department held school competitions from 8 districts of the province, where learners were given an opportunity to expand their knowledge and participate in essay writing based on this year’s IMD theme: “Museums, Sustainable and Wellbeing”.
Natalie Shihanyra from V.M. Kwinana High School in Nelson Mandela Metro, Thekela Sobisi from Hoerskool P.J.Olivier in Sarah Baartman District and Apiwe Falteni from blythswood High School in Amathole District came position one to three respectively and will represent the Eastern Cape Province at the Robben Island Museum Summer School in October 2023.
Museums presented projects that promote sustainability and well-being of museums, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in lower visitors figures and revenue generation. Amathole, Graaf Reinet and Albany museums were the top three Museums whose projects were well presented. The museums were awarded big screens, laptops, and a trip to Lower Saxony in German.
The other activity that took place on the day was donation of school shoes. MEC Kontsiwe donated 204 school shoes to learners from 11 identified local schools within Makana Local Municipality. These learners come from indigent families and the donation seeks to enhance their learning experience during the winter season and to encourage them to continue with their schooling.
Exhibits tell us stories about how our nation, our communities and our cultures came to be and without them, those stories could be forgotten. Museums serve our communities in a multitude of ways, as we have seen first-hand.
MEC Kontsiwe highlighted the importance of museums and indicated that, “museums are valuable institutions, that is why we have 58 museums in the Eastern Cape. Twenty of these are province-aided while others are under municipal, business and community ownership. Museums tell stories that cannot be told in classrooms. They possess what the classroom may not: the materials and information that enrich and create an experience that is memorable.”
“Exhibitions housed in these institutions are timeless, moreover, in museums that are in a province such as ours. This is because the province is diverse in heritage and culture and it also has a rich history. Part of that history is based on events that took place in areas such as this and areas surrounding Makana and those are the wars of resistance,” said MEC Kontsiwe.
IMD is an annual event celebrated on 18 May by the worldwide community to raise awareness on the importance of museums in the development of our society. This international event is coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and was established in 1977. Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people.