The Oral history Association of South Africa elects its new leadership

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14 Sep 2008

The Oral History Association of South Africa (OHASA) held its elective conference in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture and the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Sports, Recreation and Arts and Culture. The conference took place in East London, Eastern Cape on 07-10 October 2008. The oral history enthusiasts who converged at the Regent Hotel came from all corners of South Africa and abroad.

Speaking at the conference, the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Ntombazana Botha emphasised the significance of oral history in our national effort to build a non-racial, non-sexist and peaceful South Africa as envisioned in our Constitution.

Under the theme Hidden voices, untold stories and veiled memories, speaker after speaker conceded that oral history is an important aspect of our national life. Speakers from nongovernmental organisations and South African and foreign universities spoke at length under sub-themes such as memories of the struggle, family and gender, dealing with death and orality, literacy and indigenous music. AAn insightful presentation by two high school learners on the history of their local town signified that oral history is a tool to preserve our heritage and a vehicle to transmit history and culture from generation to generation.

There was consensus among delegates that there are still voices to be heard, untold stories to be told and veiled memories to be unveiled. In order to fill these gaps in oral history, Deputy Minister Botha urged delegates to start oral history projects in their communities. “We always hear about great leaders of our society. However, we are always told about men and very little about women. Where are these voices of our women?  IIn order to try and bridge this gap, we have established an oral history programme that will focus on the stories of women in Mdanstane.” said Botha.

The highlight of the conference was the election of OHASA’s new leadership to serve for three years. The composition of the new executive is as follows:

Chairperson:                      Professor Sekgothe Mokgoatsana

Deputy chairpersonspan:      Mr Vuyani Booi o:p>

IInternational Relations:        Mr Radikobo Ntsimane

Outreach and Research:       Ms Natalie Jaynes

Promotions & fundraising:      Dr Peter Lekgoathi

Publications:                       Professor Christina Landmano:p>

Ex-officio member:               Ms Khanyi Ngcobo

Ex-officio member:               Ms Mandy Gilder

Media Enquiries: Mack Lewele on 082 450 5076

                       Manzi Vabaza on 0823396083