While 2020 has been a challenging year for most of us, September remains a time when all South Africans are encouraged to spend time with their families and loved ones – albeit virtually, socially distanced, or in smaller groups – reflecting on their country’s heritage and their own. Our Government’s chosen theme for 2020 is ‘Celebrating South Africa’s Living Human Treasures’. In a media statement, Department of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, explains: “In celebrating living human treasures, we celebrate the bearers of our indigenous knowledge systems.”
At Sabinet we understand that the richness and diversity of our nation is to be treasured but isn’t always readily available or accessible. We know only too well that, around the country, there are so many examples of these living treasures who still need to be ‘excavated’, their stories ‘encoded’, and their important knowledge archived for future generations to benefit from. Our focus is to continue to bring Africa’s story to the world, preserving and sharing the information that helps us understand our past and inform our future. One of the ways in which we do this is through Sabinet African Archives – a growing index of more than 2 000 collections of consolidated African archives dating back as far as the 1600s. We also offer specialised digitisation services for the preservation of priceless content in a safe and secure environment.
This Heritage Month, we encourage all South Africans to take a moment to reflect on not only the living treasures in our country but those living treasures in our own lives. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of exploration and discovery to see what makes South Africa so incredibly unique.