TSHWANE KICK-STARTS MAFIKIZOLO REUNITED SA TOUR
Vintage cars, historical site sand celebrating the legacy of the late Nelson Mandela were the order of the day when the Mafikizolo Reunited South Africa Tour kicked off in the City of Tshwane on Monday, 9 March.
The Tshwane launch of the six-city tour formed part of the final build-up for the 2015 Tshwane Open, and provided early proof that the event is, as it claims to be, about "more than just golf".
The tour, a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, aims to create a platform to discuss critical issues - such as alienation, identity, leadership, community and crime - that face young South Africans today.
Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe, the award-winning duo that make up the Afro-pop group Mafikizolo, were accompanied on the first day of their six-city tour by award-winning house musician Dr Malinga and City of Tshwane Mayoral Committee Member for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture Nozipho Tyobeka-Makeke.
Travelling in vintage luxury vehicles, the touring group took to the capital to visit the Voortrekker Monument, 1 Military Hospital and the Union Buildings.
First up was the Voortrekker Monument, built to commemorate the Afrikaner pioneers' journey from the Cape Colony into the country's interior during the first half of the nineteenth century. In the Hall of Heroes, the touring group viewed the tribulations of the Voortrekkers as depicted in one of the world's longest historical marble friezes.
One Military Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility where Mandela's body was kept following his passing, was the second stop of the tour.
The final destination was the Union Buildings, which form the official seat of the government and house the offices of the President of South Africa. It was here, on 10 May 1994, that Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first democratically elected president, and here where his body lay in state for three memorable days following his passing on 5 December 2013.
On 10 December 2013, the Union Buildings Amphitheatre was renamed the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre, and on 16 December 2013 a nine-metre high bronze statue of Mandela was unveiled at this spot.
Kgosinkwe described the Tshwane tour as a wonderful experience that had made him realize that South Africa has historical places of great significance that people should be taking note of.
"Our young people need to know their history and realize that they need to use these historical places and museums to educate themselves," Kgosinkwe said. "The saddest thing that could happen to a person is them not knowing their history, because history is who you are.
"We have learned so much, and we encourage government to implement programmes that teach the youth of these places. Parents should also be taking the lead and learning about these places," he added.
The Tshwane launch of the Mafikizolo Reunited SA Tour culminated with a cocktail dinner at the Pretoria Country Club, the venue for the 2015 Tshwane Open. The €1.5-million tournament, co-sanctioned by the European and Sunshine Tours, takes place from 12 to 15 March.