My name is Simphiwe Msizi from Walmer Township in Port Elizabeth (PE). I run liberation heritage related programs that focus on preserving liberation history and heritage of South Africa, learning from experiences from the African Continent, and now globally.
I have worked on projects on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and End Conscription Campaign (ECC), all of whom had significant links to the Eastern Cape. I have collaborated with Rhodes University and Nelson Mandela University to realise these projects, in addition to extensive work in the community of Walmer Township. I won the National Heritage Award in 2017 and Provincial Heritage Award in 2018.
I am interested in the preservation of Steve Biko’s legacy found in Port Elizabeth, and in Makhanda. The Black Consciousness philosophy of Steve Biko is nationally and globally influential. My digital project and research for the Post Graduate Diploma in Heritage Management focused on the neglect of sites associated with Steve Biko in the western district of the Eastern Cape, and advocating through public mobilisation to authorities to preserve Biko sites in the areas.
My digital heriatge project for the PGHM established a Facebook page ‘If The Buildings Could Talk’ to engage heritage practitioners and youth on liberation heritage related programs, in partular raising awarenss around the neglected Black Conciousness heritage associated with buildings such as Walmer Police Station and the Sanlam Building in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth).
The course content is very rich, from knowing and understanding heritage laws, heritage case studies, digital heritage and developing a thesis.
I would recommend the course to anyone who loves heritage or heritage matters. I hope now will be able to contribute to my community, province and government. I am looking forward to give my input across spaces.