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South Africa: The Newly Completed Hapo Museum Pays Homage to Madiba
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: May 22, 2013

“The historical importance of the opening of the //hapo centre resides in the symbolism it embodies for our nation. While //hapo is the product of our collective history, it also resonates with the imperatives of the present, as well as the edicts upon which our nation is founded,” he said.
According to Motlanthe, people, by their nature, can only feel equal and united when the dignity, self-worth and esteem of all is guaranteed.
Freedom Park has been conceptualised as a monument for all South Africans to consolidate and preserve their freedom heritage in an all-encompassing and inclusive manner; including its links to the Voortreker Monument and Union Buildings within the Tshwane Heritage Belt.
The Deputy President said a common consciousness must be developed amongst all South Africans, such that national symbols, including our flags and national anthem, reflect the socio-economic development of the country.
“Understanding this complexity, it is important to develop spaces for people to tune into their consciousness, providing them with the space to freely fulfil themselves and to cultivate an identity through guaranteeing their freedoms of expression, religion, thought, conscience, belief, opinion and association,” he said.
Motlanthe said the opening of //hapo museum and the completion of the final stages of the Freedom Park construction could not have come a moment too soon.
“The //hapo museum has immeasurable memorial value for the evolution of our struggle for freedom and it embodies our national values of reconciliation, reconstruction and rebirth of our country post 1994.
“Preserving our history in this way is an important historical imperative, which allows us to reflect on our past, present and future in a manner that helps to heal our past and foster reconciliation, social cohesion and nation building,” he said.
He said generations to come would use the centre to learn about their origins and will understand the uniqueness of being a South African citizen, as well as people who come from diverse quarters of the world, but who are united in diversity.
“This centre will allow us to deal with all that is good and bad about our past, conscious not to dwell on it or repeat its mistakes while at the same time, being steadfast in drawing important lessons to unite us as we foster a new and common national heritage,” he said.
Visitors to //hapo will learn more about the struggle for freedom from amongst others the Pan African Archives, which are archives of research material in audio, visual and text formats.
//hapo will also host an interactive exhibition space, presenting the history of Southern Africa over the past 3.6-billion years in the old-age custom of narrative and visual form, extended by the Vhuawela garden and walkway, which create space for quiet and peaceful meditation and reflection.
//hapo is a Khoi word which means “a dream” and is derived from a Khoi proverb “//hapo ge //hapo tama /haohasib dis tamas ka i bo”, which means “a dream is not a dream until it is shared by the entire community”.
The museum will help the country define the history, in holistic terms, of starting from the early wars of dispossession such as Khoikhoi-Dutch warin the 1500s; the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in the Cape in 1652; the Third War of Dispossession between the Khoisan and colonial authorities in the 1800s; the South Africa War, previously known as Anglo Boer War, and the anti-apartheid struggle -- all of which form part of the freedom history and define the freedoms South Africans enjoy today.
The museum is the result of nationwide consultative processes that solicited advice from youth, organic intellectuals, academics, artistic communities, women’s groups, traditional leaders and healers and faith-based organisations.
It is a product of South Africans from all walks of life and is in every shape and form a community’s dream.
City of Tshwane executive mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, said they will ensure they take more learners in Tshwane to be the first to know more about South African history at the centre.
South Africans will celebrate Freedom Day at the main event to be held at the Union Buildings on Saturday under the theme ‘Mobilising society towards our democracy and freedom’.
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