Ambassador Stories: Legendary South Africans Series an Interview with Cultural savior Twin Mosia
3 min read
A great South African Cultural savior
Twin Mosia is one of many great South Africans who are following their dreams and enriching their communities, and VELDSKOEN™ is so excited to have him on board as one of our ambassadors.
Mosia is the founder of Elandskop Museum, which is set to open its doors in September 2019, and will be housed in an old Transnet train station – a fitting venue, as it represents the history and heritage of the town just as much as its contents will.
Mosia has been actively involved in his community since he was a child, and, his hometown, Mamafubedu Petrus Steyn, is the site of the proposed Elandskop Museum. He became a local hero after he started re-enacting the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.
“In 2013, I met Dr Van Zyl at the Anglo Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein, who was the first person to encourage me to follow my passion. I started meeting more like-minded people, like MC Heunis and Swanie Swanepoel, who were crazy about history and I joined their re-enactment team. We did re-enactments at various historic places and got featured in local and overseas documentaries and the rest is history!”
Hailing from an impoverished town, Mosia wants to help his community by creating opportunities for jobs, and learning, through the opening of Elandskop Museum.
Aims and goals
“My aim is to create job opportunities, as unemployment is a big problem in our country, but also to bring back the pride of my community. I am also hoping to inspire younger generations to see something in heritage and history and for them to continue preserving and protecting it.”
But, the road to founding the first museum in Mamafubedu Petrus Steyn hasn’t been an easy one, especially in terms of sourcing funding.
Funding and sourcing is hard to come by
“I am busy sourcing funding from the government and private companies, besides raising funds on my own. It’s sad that our government is all talk and does nothing to develop and uplift our youth, especially the ones trying to take this country somewhere.
“Although I have enjoyed support from various heritage conservation bodies, museums, institutions, and individuals, I am afraid that has not been the case when it comes to actually sourcing funds to build the museum physically. Most people will be surprised to know that we are running our museum virtually,” says Mosia.
Concentration Camps Cycle Tour
Mosia is also planning The Concentration Camps Cycle Tour, which involves visiting the towns where all the British concentration camps were located during the South African War, and collecting two stones – representing both the black and white lives that were lost - from each campsite and building a monument at the museum for all the men, women, and children who suffered during the war.
“The idea is also to continue fostering the legacy of reconciliation of the late Nelson Mandela. Being the year of Nelson Mandela, I am hoping we can still scrape some funds together to get this project off the ground,” says Mosia.
“I am also happy to be part of the VELDSKOEN™ family and I am certain I am not going to walk/ride this long road alone! One of the most vital features of this cycle tour is to encourage other youngsters across the country to start doing something with the rich diverse history and heritage in their communities. If I can do it, then they can also do it!”
Twin you are a champion, we congratulate and celebrate you!
Awards and recognitions for twin Mosia
Mosia has won numerous awards for his commitment to the preservation of South African heritage and the upliftment of his community. Here are some of the awards that he has received:
The 2017 Kudu award for Community Contribution to Conservation. This was awarded in recognition of the trust's commitment in developing young people and also imparting environmental knowledge to different communities in Mamafubedu and surrounds.
Twin was also chosen as one of the 2017 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in the Civil Society category
Golden Shield National Heritage Award as a Young Heritage Activist 2016
The Simon van der Stel Gold Medal by the Heritage Association of South Africa 2016
Elandskop Museum was the finalist in Africa Youth Awards 2016 in the Civil Society of the year category
Twin is also the bronze award winner in the Eco-Warrior category for the 2018 Eco-Logic Awards