Learners empowered with S.S Mendi history
On the 21 st of February 2020, the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) in collaboration with the New Brighton Library will empower learners with an educational commemoration of the 103 years since S.S Mendi sank. The remembrance will take place at the New Brighton Library from 10:00am.
In honouring the fallen fearless soldiers, the commemoration will highlight the important history of the S.S Mendi by targeting learners from schools in and around New Brighton. The remembrance will include cultural items such as a poetry and music performance, documentary screening of the S.S Mendi tragedy produced by well know and well travelled Bay creative, Zwai Mgijima as well as a formal debate amongst the learners.
MBDA Project Manager, Oyama Vanto said, “the story of the S.S Mendi is not known by the young generation which is why it needs to be told. We have the responsibility of narrating our history and highlighting some of the stories about us that are inspiring against all odds. We can only achieve this when we begin to work together”.
“We have a dedicated team that is working with the New Brighton Library to avail a S.S Mendi exhibition with learning material, so that this information can be easily accessible to the public,” added Vanto.
NMBM MMC for Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture, Lehlohonolo Mfana, said, “it is crucial to honour our forgotten heroes and their families. We want them to know that we will never let this important day pass without observing the selfless sacrifice from which the country benefited”.
The SS Mendi was a British passenger steamship that was built in 1905 and used to transport soldiers to the 1 st World War. On the 21 st of February in 1971, Mendi collided with a far larger ship SS Darro, Darro survived the collision but Mendi sank, killing 616 South Africans (607 of them black troops) and 30 crew. Some men were killed instantly in the collision whereas others were trapped below decks.
Other Stakeholders involved include the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture, and Bayworld.
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