By: Qhawekazi Memani – 23 March 2023

movie screening image

The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) recently hosted a community movie screening event in remembrance of the Nangalembe Night of the Massacre.

Held at the VUT Centre for Academic Development (CAD ) Auditorium, the screening was organised by Nkululeko Khumalo, a lecturer and an Independent Art Curator in the VUT Fine Art Department and Sipho Nkosi, CAD Events Coordinator– “Night of the Massacre: Trouble in the night vigil”, was the theme of the event.

The purpose of the screening was to promote the film about the underappreciated history of the Vaal. Most importantly the historical context of what had transpired at the Nangalembe Night Vigil in Sebokeng, Zone 7. This was done in order to convey the actual events.

In attendance was Len Khumalo the legend in photography who is in the documentary; Charles Khuele, the film maker who was directing the movie and two VUT Fine Art lecturers, CAD staff members, Wits students, VUT alumni and students.

Ms Khumalo claims that whereas accounts of the atrocities in Soweto and Sharpeville are commonly told, our histories have paid less attention to the riots and massacres in the Vaal. She further contends that it is imperative for black people to share their histories and preserve them in every way possible. “Our twisted history is always told from the viewpoint of the white guy. This is only one of the reasons black people should write down all of their experiences, whether they are good or bad,” she said.

She added that as Human Rights Day approaches, the documentary serves as a reminder of the reasons why it is honoured, adding that Sharpeville Day has been replaced as the recognised holiday by Human Rights Day. “In both the country and the world, the Vaal has been the site of the bulk of documented and undocumented mass executions. Those who lived through it are familiar with the stories of the Vaal.”

Two of VUT students who attended the screening who have been living in Zone 7 their entire lives but unaware of the events that had taken place at their neighbourhood felt incredibly enlightened after watching the movie and thought their grandparents ought to have been there as well and when they get home they will follow up on the stories from them.