Feb 20

Ohlange – Inanda Heritage Route Development

by in History & Memories, Tourism

The Ohlange Institute site is very significant because it demonstrates the dreams and achievements of it’s founder, the remarkable Rev Dr John Langalibalele Dube or ‘Mafukuzela’ and the site where President Nelson Mandela recognised Dube’s achievements by casting his vote during South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. Born in the Inanda Mission where his father James was one of the first Black pastors, John Dube went to Oberlin College, Illinois in the US during the 1890’s to study to follow his father to the priesthood. Here he was influenced by the ex-slave Booker T Washington who espoused social emancipation through self improvement, academic learning, practical skills and Christian morality Dube returned to found the Ohlange Institute to put these into effect in 1901. He also founded Natal’s first African newspaper ”IlIange lase Natal” in 1903 and went on to co-found the Natal Native Congress and later became the first President of the African National Congress.

To celebrate the life and achievements of Rev Dr J L Dube
To enhance the African Renaissance Centre.
Record the struggle for Democracy in South Africa
To reintroduce Dube’s ideals about practical skills
Create definition between the school and the heritage precinct
Enhance the landscaping

Provide a moving experience at the Nelson Mandela voting site including struggle songs.
Reintroduce Dube’s founding objectives of self improvement and practical skills in classrooms flanking the former chapel.
Enhance the site of the original humble Dube homestead, family graves and the first classroom.
Provide overnight accommodation in the original dressed sandstone boys hostel.
To provide an opportunity for visitors to experience a large high school in operation.
Restore the elegant final homestead for visitors.
Project centre – the site as the centre of the implementation – project capacity located on the route – community based
Sort out the school – reinstate close relationship between ideals of the Institute with the school

On the upper part of the campus the original house, built of earth, has already been restored as a Museum with Mafukuzela’s statue seated on the veranda. The graves still need to be suitably celebrated and the foundations of the original mud classroom nearby, consolidated.
The former chapel is now the African Renaissance Centre and houses the Mandela voting site. When the school expands as a result of the ‘Historic Schools Restoration Project’, the flanking classrooms will become vacated and used for teaching various practical skills to fulfil the founding objective – ie extension of the African Renaissance Centre founding vision
Ownership and control of these sites within the overall campus needs to be resolved as well as the provision of services prior to any further development.


Ohlange – proposed development





This post is also available in: Zulu

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply