Literally translated as “the elated place” this well treed and dignified site was purchased in 1913 from the original White owners by one of his followers for the founding Prophet Isaiah Shembe. This served as the centre of the amaNazarene an eclectic and intriguing African religious movement giving rise to a range of historic buildings, spaces and pathways arranged in a typical Bantu manner around ‘Paradise’ an open air prayer space not unlike an isibaya. Men and Women are separated
It is proposed to focus the visitors experience onto the origins and beliefs of the AmaNazarene.
To enhance the religious ambience of the site
Define discrete and informative tour routes
To demonstrate an African religious response
Uphold the Prophets respect for flora and fauna
Develop the overall site further to accommodate contemporary demands
There are excellent examples of intangible heritage, and even intangible architecture at this site, notably the white painted rows of stones which represent ‘walls’, the star beacons, the cairn as well as oral accounts of events.
Archive the records properly and provide access for visitors and scholars.
Provide access to witness special rituals.
Accommodation on site for serious visitors.
There are plans afoot to make the large site more responsive to current urban demands by developing transitional/social housing accommodation and a high school.
The current barbed fencing on site is a result of tension between factions and will hopefully be resolved soon.
The current neglect of historic buildings needs to be reversed in a professional manner to the approval of Heritage Authorities. This creates a special challenge because the church themselves have recognised the limitations of traditional bio-degradable materials. For example the original four amaqhugwane forming the Musamo for the ancestors near the MR25 have been replaced by hexagonal masonry rondavels!
Visitor behaviour in regard to access to the site, dress codes and separation of genders is important.
Development of the vacant land must be done sensitively, and the character of the core religious site should be retained.
Ekuphakameni proposed development
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