The 3rd Annual Heritage Career Expos Ends on a High Note!!

A bright and colourful day it was at Majuba TVET College in Newcastle at the closing ceremony of the 3rd Heritage Careers Expo. Themed “Unlocking the Wealth in Our Heritage” this year’s expo was launched on the 26th of May at Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein. This was followed by activities such as focused days, behind the scenes shots, learner’s excursions, career expos as well as masterclasses. The expo is the brain child of the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Mr Buti Manamela. It therefore aims to give learners insights into careers within the arts and culture sectors including but not limited to fashion, music, arts, and food. About 300 Grade 10-12 learners from 15 different schools in the Newcastle area were invited. The festivities kicked off as eager learners rushed to the exhibition village which housed fashion & beauty, food, arts as well as PSET areas (Post School Education and Training). The village was buzzing as learners not only acquired information but experienced the actual work done by the exhibitors. These included the likes of jazz and documentary photographer Siphiwe Mhlambi, whose work included the likes of Kgalema Motlanthe and the late icon Tata Nelson Mandela. Different SETA’s and colleges also exhibited their offerings. As learners headed back to the main auditorium, one of the master champions, Noria Mabasa shared her life story with learners. “I want to say to the young people, this work that you see here keeps me going as an 84-year-old” Mabasa said through an interpreter, referring to the sculpture she started working on 2 weeks back at an art focused day. Furthermore, learners had the opportunity to ask the renowned artist about her craft. Over the years Mabasa has received national and international awards and accolades for her outstanding artistic work. To further spark the interest of the learners a round table discussion was held with some of this year’s master champions. These were poet Napo Masheane, musician Zoe Modiga as well as brewmaster Aphiwe Nxusani Mawela. “As Africans arts and culture is part of our DNA, and our job here is to tell you that you can make a living out of it. You can go to school and say, yes, I am a poet, but now that I am doing creative writing, I can be a journalist, film writer and even be a screenwriter” said Masheane “Most of the masters who came to speak to you didn’t make it purely by talent, they have also relied on mentorship and pursuing these careers in academia” emphasised Deputy Minister Buti Manamela. He further added “These careers let us tell the South African story, in our own words through music, dance, poetry, craft, food and fashion, we therefore want you to continue with the generation of telling the South African story”. The expo also aims to restore and transfer indigenous skills and knowledge to the future generations.   To further ensure that learners have the necessary support when choosing their careers, there was a educators capacitation workshop held. The goal is to also give educators insights about careers in the heritage sector as well as different institutions of higher learning. To wrap up the day, Qiniso Zulu, Grade 12 learner from Duck Ponds High School thanked the deputy the minister for this expo as it inspired learners to consider the careers in the heritage sector.

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