On the morning of Friday the 4th of July, the 5th day of our first ever annual winter school as the Mamelodi branch; was the day we took our learners and volunteers for an excursion at Freedom Park. The day started with the excited learners and tutors being ushered into the bus heading to Freedom Park.
Upon arrival everyone received wrist bands for entrance to Freedom Park. A tour guide, by the name of Gift; was assigned to us for the day and addressed everyone and set out the basic rules that had to be followed during the tour.
Freedom Park was established to capture human dignity, rights and freedom and reflects the sacrificial achievements of the nation. Learners were excited and willing to learn about their own history and understand the extent to which liberation was attained in South Africa.
The tour started with the ikamvanites visiting S’ikhumbuto, one of the elements in the Freedom Park, which includes a Wall of Names as a remembrance of the fallen heroes of the struggle, an Amphitheatre, an Eternal flame, a Gallery of leaders and a Sanctuary. The next element that was visited was Moshate; which functions as an exhibition space for designs of the various kingdoms in the South Africa landscape. Learners then visited Mveledzo which is a spiral path, Uitspanplek a space which showed the view of the scenic Pretoria CBD area, which also overlooks the Voortrekker Monument and UNISA University.
Amongst other wonderful elements the learners visited was Tiva, a large body of water, which symbolises peace, Sivivane which symbolises a resting place for those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle. The Sivivane includes a symbolic burial ground, which is surrounded by 11 boulders known as Leshaka; all these boulders were taken from all the 9 provinces around the country. What’s also included in Sivivane is a body of water at both entrances for baptism and drinking and Umlahlankosi trees.
During the tour, learners asked questions and were intrigued by the diverse cultures and history that South Africa holds. The highlight of the tour was when the ikamvanites visited IIhapo which told a story about the beginning of life in Africa and how it impacted the rest of the world and the Pan African archives.
It was definitely a day that changed the learner’s outlook on being an African and all that this country had to overcome in order to be as privileged as it is today.
One of our learners had this to say:”I will now be able to understand the history subject more in class because I visited Freedom Park. Thanks to IY for taking us to Freedom Park and to Freedom Park for the experience”- Grade 10 learner.
From IkamvaYouth Mamelodi, we say thank you to Freedom Park for having us 🙂!!!