African history must be taught in schools. Young people must know their African heroes. This was the core message delivered by Amava Heritage Publishing held a two hour informative event at Khayelitsha on Monday November 5.
The event strives to talk about the great Maqoma who fought many wars 300 years ago. The event strives to teach pupils about the history of Maqoma and how he endless fought with the British years ago.
Grade seven pupils from Soyisile primary school listened attentively and asked tough and interesting questions about Maqoma. Amava Heritage Publishing director, Themba Ngada, said the event strives to talk about the African who heroes and heroines who fought many battles against British. He said the sad and harsh reality was that it was Mandela’s and other famous politicians are written about. He noted that colonization started before 1948 and that time there were no political parties. But he said some of the African history is not documented and only certain things had been written about about it.
Mr Ngada said Maqoma was involved in many battles fighting for the land and cattle. He said during the apartheid and colonization years the history of black had been undermined and colonized did everything in their powers to destroy it. He alluded that the current history that was being taught in schools was misleading at some point and it was written from a perspective of white people.
He said he thought that when the new government came into power in 1992 things would change. But unfortunately, he said the more things stayed the same and in fact things became worse. He said there must a subject that talks about African history and those books must be written by African writers from the all over the continent of Africa. He said it was still a mammoth task for African writers to get their books published or to be taught in schools.
He explained some of the reason for that was because many publishing companies were owned by white people. He said he fears that the generation would grow up without know their true history. “We want the history of black be taught. Our children are taught about the history other people. We want these young to grow up knowing their roots. We want our children to know their grand grand father that fought for them before establishment of political parties. There are many wars that had been fought by our people before 1948,” he said.
He said only 14 percent of people read books for fun. He said it has often been argued that black people don’t read books and the reason for that was because these books don’t appeal to them. He said it was also difficult for black owned publishing companies to operate.
Khayelitsha librarian Vuyokazi Njambatwa said she was excited that young people were informed about the African history. She said that their role as the librarian was to provide a platform for the children to learn and be informed. She praised the school for bring the pupils, saying that the knowledge they had gained would last forever.
Teacher at Soyisile primary school, Gugu Katsha, said they were currently studying the book and wanted the pupils to learn more about the Maqoma. He said the pupils had gained an extensive knowledge.