Tribute to Khoi rebel Stuurman

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One of the Eastern Cape’s colonial struggle heroes will be honoured in two different events in the province this week.

TRIBUTE STARS: The Finest dance group rehearse for production this week at the Opera House. From left are Junior Ferreira, Dillon Domingo (jumping), Ntuthuzelo Grootboom and sitting, left, Lawsuits Plaatjies and Meagan Vitealingum

Former Khoi chief and colonial rebel Dawid Stuurman’s spirit will be repatriated at the Sarah Baartman Heritage Centre in Hankey on Friday, while the PE Opera House will stage a dance production on Stuurman’s life on Wednesday.

The Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture said MEC Pemmy Majodina, led a delegation to repatriate Stuurman’s spirit in Australia on Saturday and would return with it on Thursday.

The department said the delegation, which included members of the Stuurman family, would perform traditional rituals at Australia’s Central Railway Station before returning with it.

Arts and culture head Andile Nduna expressed gratitude to the Stuurman family and the Australian government for their cooperation, saying that the repatriation process was another way to educate people about Stuurman’s role in nation-building.

The 17th century political activist was reported to have been buried at a cemetery close to where Sydney’s Central Railway Station now stands. His remains were later exhumed and reburied in another cemetery in Sydney, which is now part of the Sydney Memorial Park.

While Stuurman’s spirit is being laid to rest in Hankey, it will be brought to life at the Opera House’s Barn Theatre stage by Port Elizabeth’s Finest dance crew through its production of The Whirlwind: Dawid Stuurman, which runs from 7pm tomorrow until Saturday.

The productions launch the Opera House’s dance seasons series. Whirlwind director and choreographer Dugulth “Junior” Ferreira said the idea was inspired by having heard about Stuurman from a friend.

“When I read about Dawid and the fight of the Khoisan people to bring his body back [from Australia] I realised that not many youth knew about it,” Ferreira said. Tickets are R50 and R20 for students and pensioners.

Shows start at 7pm and there will be a 3pm matinee on Saturday.

For more information, contact Cingiwe Skosana on (041) 585-1300.

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