It has been 20 years since Oliver Reginald Tambo passed away after suffering a fatal heart attack on April 24, 1993. However, the legacy of this great leader lives on.
The 2013 programme to celebrate life and legacy of this struggle icon got underway when the annual Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Liberation Walk took place in Bonaero Park earlier this month.
Cabinet ministers Maite Nkona-Mshabane and Dipuo Peters, and other dignitaries including Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor, Mondli Gungubele, partook in the event, which is aimed at raising funds to develop Tambo’s first school, Ludeke Primary in Mbizaza, Eastern Cape.
On October 19, the City of Ekurhuleni will be hosting a first in the Ekurhuleni Melting Pot National Choral Festival. The festival, to be held at Carnival City’s Big Top Arena, will see the country’s top ten choirs compete for the number one spot and R250 000 prize money.
The festival will begin at the O.R. Tambo Memorial Gravesite, where a thousand voices will sing a tribute to Oliver and Adelaide Tambo. Shortly after, the competition will kick off at Carnival City, and the prize giving ceremony will take place later that day.
Zakes Bantwini, Siphokazi and Afrotenor are also in the line-up for this musical feast.
Oliver Tambo loved classical and chorale music, having been an accomplished choir master himself. This is the reason the City decided to introduce the choral music festival as one of the elements of the month-long O.R. Tambo programme.
October 27, the birth date of O.R., is a pinnacle on the O.R. Tambo month calendar. It will be marked with a wreath laying ceremony at the Tambo Memorial Gravesite, which was declared a national Heritage Site on the same day last year by deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.
Laying wreaths at the gravesite has become a custom for the City of Ekurhuleni as it is a traditional way of paying respect to the late couple. The ceremony is beneficial to members of the community and dignitaries who attend as speakers share important information about the legacy left by those being celebrated. The other major activity has attracted high profile leaders such as President Jacob Zuma, Motlanthe, a number of cabinet ministers, leadership of the ANC and the tripartite alliance, and other political leaders in the past.
A number of 500 learners from various high schools in Ekurhuleni will meet to debate about the influence that O.R. Tambo had on social cohesion and the racial integration of South African society. This will take place on October 18 at the East Rand School of Arts.
On October 25, municipalities from all over the country will be converging in the City of Tshwane where the O.R. Tambo Inter Municipal Games will take place.
"From whatever facet of life you come from, O.R. has been a star. Be it science, be it arts and culture, be it sports,” said Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor, Mondli Gungubele. “Apartheid diverted African people from focusing on issues that are key for social cohesion and social construction,” he continued, explaining how the different elements of the month's programme act as a lever of cohesion.
For more information on the O. R. Tambo month programme, please contact Lebogang Ramashala on 011 999 0111 or 083 596 3339, or email email@example.com