Mpumalanga Provincial Archives: Oral History Alive and well in Mpumalanga

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Mpumalanga’s oral history practitioners have vowed to grow their community to reflect the population dynamics of the province. This emerged at the 4th Oral History Conference recently held in Ermelo. The one day gathering brought together researchers, speakers, learners, academics and members of the public under the theme ‘The cultural unity of African and Africans: Testimonies’.

The conference was held under the auspices of Oral History Association of Mpumalanga Province and Mpumalanga Archives and Records Management Services, a partnership that should be a federation made up of oral history practitioners from traditional healers, leaders, storytellers, artists, academics and intellectuals. Up to now, it has struggled to attract other stakeholders who are both custodians and practitioners of oral history. Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the MEC for Arts and Culture Mahlangu, Msukalikwa Acting mayorAdileen Juliette Bal said, “Oral history is an important part of our existence as African people. To a larger extent it is the reason we hold on to our heritage of campfire tales and valuing our Gogos who are the conduits of wisdom and folklore.”