Heritage Awards: 2008

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A Zulu clan keeping alive the memory of its famous forebear, collectors and restorers of vintage tractors, and several men and women working tirelessly for heritage protection in their communities were among those honoured today at the sixth Amafa Heritage Awards. 

The first posthumous award was given to a former praise singer of King Goodwill Zwelithini. 

Said Amafa deputy director Lindiwe Msomi: “We honoured people and organisations who go the extra mile to preserve and protect KwaZulu-Natal’s rich heritage and encourage awareness among others, especially the young. 

“The posthumous award reflects our intention to honour those whose contribution has not been widely recognised until now.” 

The award recipients are: 


The Natal Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club.

The Natal Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club is housed in the original refrigeration room on the Baynesfield Estate near Richmond and has a large collection of vintage, restored tractors on display. It has done restoration work on the Joseph Baynes homestead, now a centre for woodwork crafters. 


Mrs Denise Doring

Mrs Denise Doring is the former curator of the Kokstad and Howick museums and Macrorie House in Pietermaritzburg. She is the author of Chimneys in the Clouds which tells the history 

of people and homes in the Lions River area. She began Howick’s first tourism association and trained people to run it. 

She is currently researching the history of three historic homes in the area. 


The amaZondi clan

The amaZondi clan, led by amaKhosi akwaZondi, works to promote the traditions, heritage and legacy of their forebears. 

They have ensured the contribution of Inkosi Bhambatha towards freedom from colonial oppression in the early 20th century is kept alive. They co-operated with Amafa in the memorial to Bhambatha, at Mpanza near Greytown, unveiled in 2000, and contributed to the production Bhambatha: the War of the Heads, sponsored by the National Film and Video Foundation and the SABC. They also sanctioned the book Freedom sown in Blood that drew on their oral history and memory. 


Mrs Elizabeth Spiret

Mrs Elizabeth Spiret of Ladysmith’s Siege Museum Trust is an expert on the town’s internationally-known history which spans Zulu, British and Boer experiences. A registered tour guide, she is actively involveds in promoting all aspects of tourism from battlefields and historic buildings to cycle rides. She is a committee member of the Ladysmith/Emnambithi Community Tourism Organisation.


The Pietermaritzburg Heritage Society

The Pietermaritzburg Heritage Society has been promoting - through talks and outings - the heritage of the capital city since the 1980s. This includes iconic colonial buildings, military buildings, historic churches, mosques and temples and many monuments and museums reflecting the colourful tapestry of all its citizens, past and present. 


Mr N.J. Dlamini – praise singer to two kings 

Mr N.J. Dlamini (the late Inyosi Yesilo) was praise singer to King Goodwill Zwelithini. His talent came to the notice of the king when Mr Dlamini praised the king’s late father, King Cyprian, at his funeral in 1968. . 

He was called to serve the new king, composing praises from current happenings and accompanying the king as praise singer to official functions. Inyosi Dlamini recorded five albums with an Empangeni company, Revolver Records. He died in 2003, still the king’s praise singer. 


The Lions River Heritage Society 

The Lions River Heritage Society, sister organisation to the Pietermaritzburg Heritage Society, has been involved in similar activities in the Hilton and Howick areas since 1978. These include talks and outings to historic places reflecting all cultures. 


Mr Des Pollock

Mr Des Pollock is honoured for his endeavours to share with others his vast knowledge of isiZulu, Zulu culture and history, an interest begun during his boyhood on a farm near Nquthu and close to the 1879 battlefield of Isandlwana. He has also made a significant contribution to the preservation of the heritage of the Richmond district as an active committee member and former chairman of the Richmond/Byrne Historical Society. 


Mr Hitler Mbambo

Mr Hitler Mbambo, a retired court interpreter, is a renowned expert on the history and people of Edendale, the township of 300 000 people 10 kms south-west of Pietermaritzburg’s city centre. He is a member of the Edendale Heritage Association, one of the ongoing initiatives to transform this historically-repressed and neglected township into a vibrant and dynamic urban place.