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Every year on 23 July their relatives, their friends, a community of activists and other interested parties gather to commemorate the deaths of a young lady who dreamed of being an actress and a young man who loved making music.

Robbie loved music and enjoyed playing the guitar. At the time of his death he was a student at the University of the Western Cape.
Coline, who was 22 when she died, lived in Bonteheuwel and at the tine of her death was a drama student at the Joseph Stone Institute in Athlone.

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There is much truth about our history hidden from us as South Africans. Our real history has purposefully and maliciously been distorted by Apartheid-era 'academics' in the interest of propagating the false notion that Camissa and South Africa was "civilised" by the Dutch upon the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. 

Those who held power during colonisation and Apartheid erased and omitted any stories that would give Khoisan & Slave descendants a sense of dignity and a claim to an identity of their own. Most of our real history has still not been incorporated into academic literature and other mainstream resources and thus the truth, Our Truth, is still hidden.

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Cape Flats actress, Denise Newman isn’t just a ‘trained actress’, of stage, film and screen. This Cape Flats actress is a performer with a consciousness that never betrays freedom, justice, humanity. It’s no wonder then that scripting a life story and performing it live, about legendary anti-apartheid activist, Dulcie September would be undertaken in her lifetime of bold, dazzling and deep theatrical performances.

‘Cold Case’, which premiers at the National Arts festival in Grahamstown, is not just another story about another human life. It’s a stage production about a woman who gave her lifetime for freedom of oppressed South Africans and who never got the chance to smile when freedom day dawned and ushered in the democratic society.

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Students protest at UWC, Cape Town, 1976 - Picture: www,sahistory.org
The idea of making the commemoration of 16 June 1976 more relevant to where we live or where we are from, no matter where that is in South Africa, has always been tugging at my sleeves.
There was especially this sense that very little was being done to honour and commemorate those young struggle heroes from the Western Cape where I live and acknowledge their part in the 1976 student uprisings.

Each year I try to look at different things that can get us a little closer to this idea and this year I have come across an initiative that very much ties in with it. Added to that, I have also found my own personal way of commemorating the youth from my own area who have lost their lives shaping our collective future.

Finding the Hidden Histories
Based in Mowbray Cape Town, The Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education is launching an oral and documentary history project that will draw focus to how the 1976 Student Uprising unfolded in greater Cape Town.

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How a slave from Mauritius led a rebellion in Cape Town
And how he was influenced by a revolution in Haiti
by Nigel Worden

Drawing of Greenmarket Square in Cape Town in 1764 by Johannes Rach


On 27 October 1808, about 340 slaves from the Swartland and Koeberg hinterland of Cape Town rose up in revolt. They attacked over thirty of the prosperous grain farms of the region, took the farmers prisoner and marched on Cape Town where they planned to ‘hoist the bloody flag and fight themselves free.'

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