30 November 2012

New collections at SAHA

Two collections relating to the history of Zimbabwe, particularly the history of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and its armed wing the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZPRA) have recently been processed and are now available for consultation at SAHA.

Identified as endangered and relocated to Johannesburg for archival processing, the Mafela Trust Collection (AL3289) consists of paper-based and digital materials, photographs, oral history and video materials. Established in 1989 by a group of ZAPU freedom fighters to research and document the lost history of ZAPU and ZPRA during the liberation war in Zimbabwe, the Mafela Trust launched numerous national projects in an attempt to recoup what has been lost. The Fallen Heroes project - an identification and commemoration of those who died during the liberation war, and the War Graves project - the location and subsequent exhumation of war graves, as well as further research and oral history projects bear testament to the Mafela Trust's determination to recover the ZAPU/ZPRA history, including documenting the history around the formal alliance with Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). The materials produced as part of these projects form the bulk of the Mafela Trust collection. A selection of materials in this collection has been digitised.

The ZAPU/Zenzo Nkobi Oral History Project collection (AL3291) contains the audio-recordings and transcripts of twenty-six interviews conducted with ZAPU survivors and other individuals portrayed in the Zenzo Nkobi images in SAHA collection AL3265 as part of a SAHA oral history and research project to explore aspects of the armed struggle for Zimbabwean independence. The interviewees are David Beer, Sibongile Khumalo (pseudonym), Dumiso Dabengwa, Benjamin Dube, Richard Dube, Charles Madonko, Caroline Mhlanga, Christopher Moyo, Jack Mpofu, Edward Nare, Mtshana Ncube, Longman Ndebele, Callistus Ndlovu, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, Parks Ndlovu, Regina Ndlovu, Amos Ngwenya, Thomas Ngwenya, Meeting Nkala, Abraham Nkiwane, Zephaniah Nkomo, Percious Nleya, Grace Noko, Elingworth Poli and Cetshwayo Sithole. The themes covered in these interviews include recruitment, military training, attacks by the Rhodesian forces, alliances and solidarity, leadership and administration, the Women's Brigade, life in the refugee camps, as well as the 1980 elections and post-independence politics. Photographs of some of the interviewees form part of this collection.

Items from both collections have been selected for inclusion in the SAHA virtual exhibition ‘ZAPU through Zenzo Nkobi's lens'.