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Dr Magda Minguzzi, senior lecturer at Mandela University’s School of Architecture and researcher at the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, recently received recognition for her years of research and commitments with the First Nation. 

Recognition came in the form of a hat, used during traditional practices or special events and specially created for her.

"I felt very privileged and honoured to have received such recognition”, Dr Minguzzi said.

Dr Magda Minguzzi has been invited by Prof Roger Fisher of Pretoria University, to join the “Marking Memories - Mashishing Rock Engraving Project” lead by Dr Lauren Dyll of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and coordinated by Dr Mary Lange (ARROWSA, Arts, Culture and Heritage Centre), JP Celliers (Curator of the Lydenburg Museum), Prof David Morris (head of the archaeology section of McGregor Museum) and Prof Fisher.

This is a project based in the North of the country where ancient rock engraving sites have been documented in coordination with the indigenous community.  Currently, the group is busy with consultations at a national level with different communities and peoples, around the meaning of the symbols represented on the rocks.

Thanks to her involvement in the national research project “Marking Memories”, Dr Minguzzi recently visited Khoi San heritage sites and organised a community meeting with the First Indigenous Peoples in the Graaff-Reinet area.

The meeting also involved the Old Library Museum and director Anziske Keyster who coordinated the indigenous community meeting with all Covid-19 protocols observed.

It is in Graaf Reinet that Chief of the Inqua Camdeboo Peoples, presented Magda with the hat, created by Headman Alie Japhta.

“That came a week after I was invited to attend the Commemoration of the return of Sarah Baartman, which took place in Hankey on 16 May", said Dr Minguzzi.

“We commemorated the 19th year of the return of Sarah Baartman after an absence of 200 years.  During this year's commemoration, we specifically addressed the Traditional Leaders and KhoiSan Act.  This Act does not acknowledge or accept our existence as the First Indigenous Peoples.  It denies us our rights as enshrined in the United Nations Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of which South Africa is a signatory to," Chief Jean. Burgess said.

Chief Daantjie Japhta, Inqua Camdeboo, during the "ceremony" with Dr Magda Minguzzi.

Chief Daantjie Japhta, Inqua Camdeboo, Chief Brato Malgas, Inqua tribe Jansenville and the Headman Alie Japhta (who created the hat) with Dr Minguzzi.

The Sarah Baartman ceremony

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