From Port Shepstone’s Maritime Cultural Museum to the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Center in Mthwalume, there are a number of cultural sites to explore on the South Coast in September.
As Heritage Month approaches, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment and Enterprise (SCTIE) – Phelisa Mangcu said it was important to take a moment to learn a little about the rich cultural history of the South Africa and celebrate the diversity that makes Mzansi so special.
Mangcu said the South Coast, also known as the paradise of the Zulu Kingdom, is a great place to start, with its history and tradition celebrated in museums, galleries and natural heritage sites.
She said there are limitless possibilities for cultural enlightenment.
“Heritage is really at the heart of KZN South Coast’s tourism offerings, as we believe it gives visitors a great insight into who we are as a people. We have a wonderful variety of sights and activities to discover, offering a behind-the-scenes look at this beautiful region, its friendly people and its fascinating history,” said Mangcu.
She added that the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Center in Mthwalume is an ideal place to start any cultural journey in the paradise of the Zulu kingdom, adding that the incredible arts and heritage center offers visitors an authentic cultural experience, telling the story of the Zulu nation. through art, dance, seminars and musical performances.
Mangcu added that the Port Shepstone Maritime Cultural Museum is a must-see museum, saying it showcases the diverse cultural and historical themes of the locals and region.
She added that the museum also has an on-site amphitheater, an exhibition area displaying historical artifacts, a gallery and an impressive archive.
“The South Coast is renowned for its artistry, which is on full display at the magnificent Margate Art Museum. There are amazing workshops, talks, tours and exhibitions throughout the year. Art, culture and history come together in the unmissable KwaXolo caves. Once a series of protective shelters for the San people, the lives of these ancient inhabitants are told in artwork within the caves. Visitors are led by a tour guide along a steel cable and rung via ferrata system to the caves. New upgrades include a wire bridge, a 1 km long zip line and a walkway bridge. Recognizing the link between fine art and fine wine, Riverbend Art & Wine Gallery in Southbroom displays a wonderful collection of estate wines in its extensive cellar, with the gallery showcasing works by renowned South African artists such as Nils Anderson , Louis Audie, David Mbele, Billy Molokeng, Godfrey Ndaba, Diane Erasmus, Nicola Firth and many more,” said Mangcu.
She added that car enthusiasts will be in for a treat at the old Munster Motor Museum and the Classic Car Museum, which features everything from two- and four-stroke internal combustion engines to rotary engines.
Also on display, Mangcu said, are a variety of memorabilia and images of automobiles and motorsports; adding that there is a library of historical artifacts, and even a nautical section featuring models of navy and merchant ships with illustrated histories of local shipwrecks.
Mangcu said on the subject of shipwrecks, the south coast is the place to visit for those interested in stories from the sea, adding that a good example is the wreck of the 1933 Nightingale at Trafalgar.
“The Nightingale Shipwreck, a steamship ran aground on the rocks of Glenmore Beach due to heavy fog. But it’s not the only wreck to explore on the south coast. Dating back to 1552, the São Joao was returning from India to Portugal when it ran aground near Port Edward in a storm.Legend has it that some of the survivors actually assimilated into local tribes, whose heritage is celebrated to this day in through festivals, food and memorial tributes. Visitors to Port Edward can visit the São Joao Monument which was erected to commemorate the lost souls of the ship,” Mangcu said.
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