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South Africa’s Culture Minister, Hon. Lulama Xingwana, has said that the life and work of Jamaica’s first National Hero, The Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey, continues to inspire and motivate the Pan-African movement, especially in her country.
She was speaking during a tour of Liberty Hall, the original headquarters of Mr. Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), King Street, downtown Kingston, on Monday (December 14). The tour was part of the itinerary of her three-day visit to the island between December 12 and 14.
Noting that Mr. Garvey was “highly respected” by South Africa’s leaders, Minister Xingwana said that during the country’s struggle against apartheid, “we were told that he was at the forefront of the struggle for Africans in America and the Caribbean.”
“He inspired the ideas of great African leaders like (Independent Ghana’s first President) Kwame Nkrumah, and many other leaders, like our own Nelson Mandela. We still look back at his work and we still are motivated and inspired to work for Pan-Africanism,” she added.

South African Culture Minister, Hon. Lulama Xingwana (left), looks artwork of Marcus Garvey, which is being shown to her by Acting Director/Curator of Liberty Hall, Nicosia Shake. Minister Xingwana toured the multimedia museum at the institution located downtown Kingston on Monday (Dec. 14).

The Minister’s visit to Liberty Hall entailed a tour of the Marcus Mosiah Garvey Multimedia Museum, during which she viewed a range of digital and manual records of the National Hero’s legacy.
She praised the work of Acting Director/Curator, Nicosia Shakes, and the staff of the institution for preserving the records, citing benefits, which could accrue to South Africa, consequent on her visit.
“I think there is a lot we can learn from institutions, like this one, and other institutions in Jamaica, since we are a new republic… a new democracy. I think, also, we are very much impressed by the manner in which you have conserved some of your heritage spaces and documented your history, particularly the liberation struggle and history of the people of Jamaica. I think there is a lot we can learn from that and it is very important that we (in South Africa) also document important milestones of our history for generations to come,” she underscored.
Alluding to her tour of the Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road, St. Andrew, Ms. Xingwana described the visit as an “interesting and informative experience, just to be reminded of his life and his contribution to music.”

South African Culture Minister, Hon. Lulama Xingwana (right), is presented with a gift basket by Acting Director/Curator of Liberty Hall, Nicosia Shakes, following a tour of the multimedia museum at the facility located downtown Kingston on Monday (Dec. 14).

“I do remember that, back home, we were highly motivated and revived by some of his revolutionary songs. He was very popular in South Africa, and we were all saddened by his passing,” she recounted.
Ms. Xingwana, who also toured the National Gallery and sections of Port Royal, cited possibilities for mutually beneficial collaborations between both countries in education and training in the arts and culture, as well as skills transfer in film and heritage conservation.
Ms. Xingwana is slated to leave the island this afternoon.

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