Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Busy Bees explore collaborations

by: Zongezile Matshoba

The meeting that took place at Hill Street library on Wednesday afternoon opened numerous doors for the Busy Bees. In attendance were several representatives of the Makana Municipality’s funded projects, which are part of the Project 200 Years.

Interest and excitement showed immediately after the Busy Bees team has been introduced by Councilor Julia Wells from the municipality. Taking the stand on behalf of the team were Sinethemba Yame and Dumisani Budaza. They informed the meeting that the project aims to gather everyone’s experience and stories of living in Grahamstown that have never been recorded before, preserve it, and publish it online.

Several interesting projects promised to accelerate as Project 200 Years reaches halfway mark in June. These projects covered various aspects ranging from dance, theatre, book publishing, to career guidance, exhibitions and street festivals, based on the 12 themes that have been identified by the municipality.

Organizations that have been identified by the municipality to receive financial support include Amaphiko Dance Project, Upstart Youth Development Project, DSG and St Andrew’s Schools, Fingo Festival, Grahamstown NGOs coalition and Gadra.

One speaker even challenged the Busy Bees to rewrite the South African history that resulted in the June 1976 uprisings, claiming that it all started in Grahamstown in 1975 when Phila Nkayi, now an African National Congress member of parliament, led students to boycott Afrikaans as medium of instruction.      

Elron Kleinhans, another Busy Bees member then extended the invitation to all leaders of the funded projects to work closer with the Busy Bees so as to share information for the benefit of Grahamstown community. The success of the Busy Bees relies on stories like these, the missing links in the local and national history.  

Beside the 12 themes, Busy Bees are also interested in assisting local communities in writing their own histories. They are not focussing on people only, but at anything, event or place of interest such as the Recreation Hall, the beer hall, or the donkeys, for example that have become part of the history of this area. Anyone with a personal, family or group story to share must contact the Busy Bees team for an interview at Albany Natural Science Museum  (Somerset Street), or via the email:

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