Zakes Mda opens new Khayelitsha centre

Acclaimed author welcomes work of activist organisations

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Photo of Zakes Mda with two other people
Author Zakes Mda puts his thumbprint on a painting at the opening of the new iSivivana centre in Khayelitsha, with two of the managers Ian Watermeyer (centre) and Adam Sack. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

There was ululation, singing, and clapping in Khayelitsha when the new iSivivana centre was officially opened this week.

So far nine organisations including Social Justice Coalition, Treatment Action Campaign, Medecins sans Frontieres, Workers’ World Media Productions,, Health Equity South Africa, Equal Education, Equal Education Law Centre and Thope Foundation have moved onto the premises.

The iSivivana Centre is a social justice and community centre owned and managed by the Khayelitsha Youth and Community Centre Trust. The founder of the trust is Atlantic Philanthropies, which was a primary donor.

The word iSivivana means a cairn of stones used to mark a pathway.

Acclaimed author Zakes Mda said the work of the organisations would correct mistakes made by the older generation in failing to fight corruption.

“What we see now happening is that everyone wants to lead so that they can continue feeding themselves. Those who are against the eating are moved aside,” said Mda.

He praised the work done by the organisations housed in the centre and wished them luck.

The centre offers space for community meetings, family gathering and learning. It will also host a regular film program.

Speaking on behalf of the organisations housed there, Social Justice Coalition secretary Phumeza Mlungwana said they were happy with the space and the location at the centre of Khayelitsha, close to communities and to public transport.

“The conditions we used to work in before were not good,” she said. In the new offices members of the organisations could help each other with their campaigns.

Doron Isaacs, one of the trustees, said the centre was there to serve the people. 

TOPICS:  Human Rights

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