Bringing heritage to life

AFDA Durban, the theatre, film and television school, in collaboration with Wushwini Arts and Heritage Centre and the Inanda Heritage Route, have created a project to bring important heritage sites in Durban to life through three short theatre plays on Friday, 24 March.

The Inanda Heritage Route takes in some of the most important, albeit little-known, historical sites of Durban. Winding its way through the Inanda Valley, it provides a snapshot of critical South African history as well as India’s past. Gandhi stayed on here and started his passive resistance movement in 1907 The trail starts in Phoenix Settlement, established in 1904 by Gandhi. Here you can see Gandhi’s house. Next it moves on to the Ohlange Institute, Rev John Dube and Nokutela Dube’s house – a national monument – and Dube’ grave. The Shembe community is also part of the Inanda heritage route ending at Wushwini Arts and Heritage centre, overlooking the picturesque Inanda Dam.

Recently AFDA Durban appointed a new Dean, Brent Quinn, who is originally from Durban and was the head of AFDA Jo’burg Film School, an award-winning film and television director.

New head of the television school, Penny Flascas, head of the film school, Richard Green and head of live performance of AFDA Durban, Roel Twijnstra are working on an exciting and relevant curriculum, collaborations with other partners of the industry. The Inanda heritage Route theatre project is the first result of those collaborative partnerships.

Roel Twijnstra said: “Imagine Ghandi and his family working in Phoenix Settlement, 800 meters away Dr John Dube and his wife Nokhutela are working. They knew each other very well and met on a regular base. Ghandi’s philosophy influenced the founding vision of the ANC, Dube’s vision influence Ghandi’s philosophy. Add Shembe who lived physically in between the two and was a close friend . A recipe for cultural footprints that are still visible in South African society today. Our first year actors students and first year television students, after researching the history created the three short plays. These plays are not history lessons but present some of the conflicts that these legendary character were faced with.”

The shows are free of charge and presented at noon at Phoenix Settlement, at 1pm at Inanda’s Ohlange Institute and at 2.30pm at Wushwini Arts and Heritage Centre.



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Lauren Walford

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