HERITAGE DAY CELEBRATION RECLAIMS PARK
By: Dale Munatswa
Diverse cultures and races converged at Pufaro Park in Newlands-East to officially re-launch and reclaim a park that was once a crime zone, through Heritage Day celebrations on Tuesday.
The brain child of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department successfully brought people together in celebrating Heritage Day, while reclaiming Pufaro Park. It saw people from different cultures and races uniting against a common enemy, crime, while enjoying dance and entertainment from various performances and sports.
Themba Ngcobo the head of Parks, Recreation and Culture Department said, “The reason why we came here is because this park was a run down and it was occupied by people who are on drugs, prostitutes and there was a boy, fourteen years of age who was killed here about four years ago. So we have come here to re-claim the park, so that we take it back from the bad social element and give it back to the community, so that the community can use it now and again to bring unity to people who live around here.”
The celebrations kicked off with a street parade along Musa Dladla road, ending at Pufaro Park. People were dressed in their respective cultural regalia and displayed their cultures’ specialty. Basketball and soccer tournaments were played, while dances and performances took place simultaneously. Musical bliss came from the likes of Zakwe and Dj Happy Girl. On exhibition were various animals significant to various local cultures by the eThekwini Natural Science Museum.
Newlands residents came in their numbers and showed great enthusiasm and appreciation for the re-claiming of the park. “We hope that we are going to maintain what has been started here today, that we are going to use the park to uplift the community of Newlands-East, to get youths together,” said Newlands resident, Janet Pilley.