People and Partners


Partners of the SHAP project are instrumental in expanding the archiving of Soweto’s history. Added, these partners contribute to public history programs across Soweto and are critical cultural and historical partners in popularising Soweto’s history.

Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage, City of Johannesburg

This archive is drawn from work of the directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage. It includes heritage impact assessment studies of various projects located in Soweto, submissions for heritage protection of various sites of historical importance and the list of sites with blue plaques.

Don Mattera Foundation

The Don Mattera Foundation has been bequeathed an archive of Don Mattera’s journalistic writings. History Workshop has been approached to curate an exhibition using this collection. Currently, the collection is under the care of the Don Mattera Foundation. Copyright issues have not yet been addressed with the various newspapers that published the different pieces.

Dube Boxing Club

The archive on Dube Boxing Club is at this stage constituted of newspaper clippings and oral history interviews conducted by Sihle Luma for his honours research report. An extensive search still needs to be conducted, particularly of the records of the City of Johannesburg, which manages the facility.

Funda Community College

Funda Community College holds in its premises and at the home of the current director archives of various projects that initially constituted Funda Centre. The archives include the conversion of Funda Centre into Funda Community College. They include administrative records, publications, photographs and art works by former and current students.

Working as a model of a public-private and community partnerships, the Funda Centre boasted of the following (a) A Science Education Centre for Teacher Inservice Training (built by the SA German Chamber of Commerce and industries); (b) An Adult Education Centre with a myriad of short courses and non-formal programs; (c) A multipurpose Library, then state-of-the-art (built by IBM); (d) A multipurpose teachers Centre (built by Goldfields SA); (e) The multipurpose auditorium; (f) The Arts Centre (built by Rembrand van Rijn) and the Prefab which housed the CBED and ATASA (African Teachers Association of South Africa), left by building contractors. After its first ten years of community service and during South Africa’s most volatile political and social upheavals (1984-1994), Eskia Mphahlele steered the Funda Centre and its 20 community based and non-governmental users into becoming a single institution with “an educational mind”. A process of research, several workshops and governance negotiations was initiated from 1989, leading to the establishment of the Funda Community College. The latter was launched in 1994 by Prof. S Bengu, the first Minister of Education post-1994, with a new Board, Management and articulated university programs with RAU (BSC and B.Com), and Wits (Visual Arts).

Greater Dobsonville Heritage Foundation

The Greater Dobsonville History Programme is a collaboration between the History Workshop and the Greater Dobsonville Heritage Trust. This programme has focused on the collection of life history interviews and archival material from the municipal records. The mission of the GDHF is to research, document, tell, relate and archive the history of Greater Dobsonville. The GDHF aims to serve as a primary resource and point of reference for the history and heritage matters of the Greater Dobsonville.

Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum

The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum in Soweto has an archive on the June 16 1976 uprisings. The archive include audio visual recordings of commemoration activities since 1994. Members of the Soweto History and Archives Project, Dr Tshepo Moloi, Prof Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu and Dr Ali Hlongwane conducted a number of oral history interviews deposited at the memorial museum. There is also a mapping of the 1960 Pass protest march by PAC activists based in Soweto who handed themselves for arrest at Orlando Police Station.

Imilonji Kantu Choral Society

Extensive collections of diverse archives of Imilonji Ka Ntu Choral Society are housed in the home of Imilonji’s Music Director, Gobingca George Mxadana. They include recordings of Imilonji’s performances in VHS cassettes, photographs, awards of the Society and ones awarded to Mxadana as well as newspaper clippings. Members of the Society are currently compiling their personal reflections as members of the group for more than two decades. They also envisage publishing a coffee table publication.

Jabulani Amphitheatre

Boitumelo Tlhoaele is an associate lecturer in the Curatorial, Public and Visual Cultures department at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also a Doctoral Fellow at the Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation, Stellenbosch University. Boitumelo has collected and developed an extensive archive on the music/jazz performances at the Jabulani Amphitheatre in Soweto. Part of the archive is in her possession through the Hidden Years Music Archive situated at Africa Open Institute, Stellenbosch where her PhD is registered.

Morris Isaacson High School

Clive Glaser of the History Department at Wits has completed a book on the school. The archive assembled as part of the research and writing of the book has been handed to the alumni of the school.

Musi High School

Former students and teachers of Musi High in Pimville are marking the 75 anniversary of the school. One initiative for the commemoration activities is a collection of stories and memories of former students/teachers. This collection of 27 submissions of “Musi Musings” is in the possession of the Committee coordinating the alumni of the school.

Pelmama Academy and the The Haenggi Foundation Inc.

The archive of the Pelmama Academy is in Switzerland where the Haenggi Foundation established by the founder and major donor to Pelmama Academy deposited it. Art works by former students is in various galleries in the country.

Ruth Seopedi Motau Archive

Ruth Seopedi Motau was born in Meadowlands, Soweto. She is a social documentary photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently she is an Independent Photographic Consultant, Photographer, Exhibitor, Curator, Photo Editor, Mentor and Educator. She is currently running a photo mentorship program where she teaches and mentors black women photographers and working on her photographic archive so that her images can be accessible to a larger audience. Her extensive collection is at her home.

Soyikwa Institute of African Theatre (including the Creative Youth Association)

The archive on Soyikwa Institute of African Theatre are wide ranging and have been catalogued by Kasonde Mukonde who is working on his PhD on theatre in the 1980s. Kasonde has already interviewed several former members of Soyikwa thus further enriching this archive. Currently, this archive is stored at the premises of the History Workshop.