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Press Release: World for Cultural Diversity | Online Inter-cultural Dialogue

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The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture will join the rest of the African continent, the African Diaspora and the World in celebrations of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Developmenton the 21st of May 2020.  Minister Nathi Mthethwa will host an Online Inter-cultural Dialogue on Credo Mutwa under the theme, “The life and times of the late Baba Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa as a framework for human liberation and African Unity.”

The online inter-cultural dialogue seeks to commemorate the World day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development under the light and wisdom of uBaba Credo Mutwa. Recognizing uBaba Credo Mutwa’s cultural knowledge in human liberation and the African Unity framework during Africa month 2020. Furthermore, it seeks to promote and protect the fundamental freedom of cultural ambassadors and innovation in Africa and looking within and beyond South Africa. It also integrates the knowledge of uBaba Credo Mutwa to the basic and higher education spaces.

The month of May and in particular, the 25th of May is significant to South Africa  as it reflects the historical journey when Africa made history with the formation of the OAU on 25 May 1963 , which later became the AU in South Africa on 9 July 2002.

South Africa continues to have an active role in the AU and remains committed to the vision of championing an African continent which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united and which aspires to a world that is just and equitable.

South Africa plays an integral role on the African continent. Therefore, the country understands its national interest as intrinsically linked to continental stability, unity and prosperity, defined by the development, and uplifting of all African people.

The Online Inter-cultural Dialogue on 21 May will seek to strengthen social, cultural, economic and political integration among African nations by celebrating the Life and Times of the late Baba Credo Mutwa who passed on, on the 25th March 2020 a day before South Africa went into Lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic. 

“It is a moment that fills me with joy and sadness. I am joyful because he passes on to join abadala, his ancestors and the ancestors of this country at a time when the country was beginning to remember his greatness”. Aubrey Matshiqi.

The legacy of uBaba Credo Mutwa transcends South Africa, and his Pan-African knowledge will be remembered and shared with the African continent and the African Diaspora during Africa Month. The pan-African nature of his training provided him with the knowledge of African folklore, mythology and culture, which he lamented, was dying. He became adamant that he needed not only to preserve it, but also to educate South Africans about this heritage through his work. 

I was not travelling for enjoyment, however, I was travelling for knowledge … I came into contact with men and women of countries that I had not known before … I found myself amongst men and women possessing knowledge that was already ancient when the man Jesus Christ was born. (Credo Mutwa)

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development. The United Nations General Assembly first declared this World Day in 2002, following UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, recognizing the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.” 

The Day will provide us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of Cultural Diversity and to learn to “live together” better. This is why UNESCO appeals to the Member States as well as to all civil society to celebrate this World Day by involving as many actors and partners as possible.

These include: 

  1. Support sustainable systems of governance for culture; 
  2. Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals; 
  3. Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks; and
  4. Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The panel of speakers for the Online Inter-cultural Dialogue will touch on the various elements of the Life and times of the late Baba Credo Mutwa.

Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture (Introducing the speakers, reflecting on the life of the departed Baba Credo Mutwa as a human treasure, legend and social cohesion advocate)

Prof. Mongane Wally Serote Chairperson of the CMRG (Keeping the conversations on IKS  going ( the institution of Indigenous healing which Baba Credo Mutwa lived for as the custodian of history, culture, heritage and belief systems of the African people)

Dr Velaphi “Bhelindaba” VVO Mkhize from Umsamo Institute (Indigenous ways of spirituality, humanity and many various aspects of cultural diversity)

Ms Ingrid Penderes, filmmaker (The story and narratives of uBaba Mutwa to the film industry: The lessons learnt and how to approach the documenting of stories of the elders in Africa.)

Representative of the Credo Mutwa Foundation (placing the lamp on the table: critically engage the truth that needs to be told as uBaba Mutwa had continually placed lamps of truth on different tables)

The Online Intercultural Dialogue will start at 20h00 on Thursday 21 May 2020 on SAFM and Online Social Media Platforms. 

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