Fifty-one years since the declaration of District Six a White Group Area

Proclamation a shock’ read the headlines of The Cape Argus City Late edition on Friday, February 11 in 1966.

The article, written by a staff reporter for the newspaper, anticipated a number of issues that the city is still dealing with as part of apartheid’s legacy. It foresees, amongst other things:

  •  ‘A huge increase in the city’s already overloaded housing burden;
  •  … the creation of transport problems for a much larger commuter population.’It also refers to the government having ‘created new prospects for White expansion on the fringe of the city’s central business district’ – all issues which we are still facing even today.
  • It also refers to the government having ‘created new prospects for White expansion on the fringe of the city’s central business district’ – all issues which we are still facing even today.

The annual walk of remembrance has become an important activity on the calendar of former District Sixers, and others who are committed to actively remembering the past in ways which inspire us to think of a new way of being citizens.

The commemoration has all the hallmarks of the District Six Museum’s methodology: it is participatory, performative, it references the past and energises thinking about the future. Very importantly, it is a constant reminder that restitution should run much deeper than being a housing project. In addition to the important return to the land, it involves the return of dignity, the affirmation of rights, the assertion of cultural identity as well as respect for valuable local knowledge. It is a reminder that the past really does matter.

The community has been advocating for the declaration of District Six as a National Heritage Site. Join the call to fast-track the statutory process of declaration by pledging your support on this day. Join the call, too, to remember apartheid displacements from other areas around our country.


The centre pic is from the front page of the Cape Argus, 8 February 2017.

“My Grandmother, Mabel Isobel Hutton (AKA Ma, Aunty Bell or Mrs Hutton) Unless we acknowledge our past,…” CECILÉ-ANN PEARCE…/exiled-flight…Exiled – The Flight Out of District Six

The walk of remembrance starts at the District Six Museum, 25 Buitenkant Street, at 11h00 on Saturday 11 February. The walk will proceed with replicated District Six street signs, to Keisersgracht to line the street in a few moments of silence, interspersed with a few surprise performances along the way. Youth involved in our Art in Public Places – an archival photography project – will display their work to mark the site of remembrance. The programme will end at 13h30 at the Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street with some light refreshments.


Cape Flats Film Festival: 16th – 23rd August 2015


SUNDAY, 23rd August 2015

11h00 – 19h00

Cape Flats Uprising aims to change the stereotypes that people have of the Cape Flats that strips vulnerable communities of their humanity. The film festival will therefore show positive documentaries and stories from the community with the community during the month of August. The aim is to highlight the many amazing people from the Cape Flats to change the lasting perception that was created by Apartheid to vilify the masses. The central message of this festival is that ‘Change begins with US!”

Cape Flats Film Festival Part 1 (The Winter / Indoor Screening) will run from the 16th August and end at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre with an ‘Awards event’ on the 23rd August.

Screenings will take place in the following areas:

Follow the festival on Facebook for updates.

Sunday, 16th August – Ocean View
Monday, 17th August – Fairmount High
Tuesday, 18th August – Langa
Wednesday, 19th August – Mitchell’s Plain
Thursday, 20th August – Gugulethu
Friday, 21st August – (tbc) Bonteheuwel
Saturday, 22nd August – New World Foundation, Lavender Hill
Sunday, 23rd Aug 2015 – Finale at District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

Pictures below:

Left: learners at Fairmount High School, Grassy Park with a performer from the Cape Flats Hip Hop and dance crew, Mixed Mense. Right: Learners at Surrey Primary, Athlone discussing the movie ‘Afrikaaps’ with Emile Jansen of ‘Heal the Hood’.



Women’s Humanity Walk through District Six

The Artscape Women’s festival programme will include a HUMANITY WALK organized by the Woman Zone. The walk will start from the District Six Homecoming Centre on Sunday, 9th at 11h00 and pass through the site of District Six. This interactive initiative gives ‘Walkers’ the opportunity to communicate with someone they don’t know and build a bridge of dialogue.

After the success of last year’s event, the Woman Zone’s Women’s Humanity Walk returns in 2015, encouraging all women to don their walking shoes and take to the streets for an enjoyable stroll on WNational Women’Day, 2015. The walk begins at the District Six Homecoming Centre and ends at the Artscape Piazza, where there will be music, speeches and a special celebratory Humanity Meal.

Visit for more information about the Women’s Humanity Arts festival, booking details and participating organisations.

Roland Colastica’s DESIRE: Every soul tells a story

Wednesday, 20th May 2015
18.30 for 19.00
Prestwich Ossuary
C/O Somerset Road and Buitengracht Street
Enquiries: 021 4667200 /

Roland Colastica and Storytelling

Roland Colastica is a contemporary storyteller, writer, actor and poet who uses his performances -to reveal his theatrical storytelling and writings- to create instruments to support this fighting.

What is storytelling other than to make the listener experience the reality of humankind that everyone faces; every heart and every soul tells a story. Storytelling makes people understand that each soul has its own story.

Curaçao is a small island off the coast of Venezuela, South America and is still a colony of The Netherlands. As part of the Dutch kingdom, it was the most important point of sale for the Dutch slave trade.

Six hundred thousand slaves were forced to leave their homes in Ghana and other parts of Africa to make the horrific journey to the Caribbean – to Curaçao – where they were sold to plantation owners in most of the islands of the Caribbean, Suriname, Brazil and the southern USA.

Despite the pain that we inherited from this horrific part of our history, these African ancestors left us one of the most precious treasures a community can desire which are our traditional stories. These stories combined with those of the ancestors of former white rulers left behind, enriched even more the treasure box of our oral stories.

All these stories tell the enormous desire of humanity, whatever these were; from slaves that wanted to fly back to Africa to whites and blacks falling in love which was prohibited. From the fable about the Nanzi, the smart and sly spider who knew how to trick the King (read the slave owner) and get advantage over him for its own benefit, to young mothers who trust their new borns to the huge eagle.

These stories tell so much about our past reality that has made us the people we are today – a community that is constantly fighting for respect of its identity; a community that is convinced it can determine its future by knowing its true past.

Roland Colastica, as a contemporary writer writes about present topics like the desire of the modern man to talk about his emotions when his wife is pregnant among other themes.

Summary of Performances

  • In 1999: celebration of the “Quincentenary of Written History of Curacao” for his Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander together with Jacques Visser and Dana Kibbelaar.
  • In 2002: celebration of the Royal wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Máxima in Curaçao.
  • In 2005 celebration of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix 25th anniversary as Queen of The Netherlands.
  • In 2013: cultural event for an official visit of Queen Beatrix to Curacao, which later on turned out to be her last visit to Curaçao as the Queen of the Dutch Kingdom.
  • In 2014 he was made responsible for producing a huge cultural manifestation as a welcome gift from the Curacao community to King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Máxima, on their first visit as king and Queen to Curaçao. King Willem Alexander is the First King of the Dutch Kingdom since the passing away of King Willem the 3th in 1890. For this manifestation Roland was chosen not only to write, to direct and to produce, but also to be the master of ceremony, in which position he could address the King and Queen personally. His assistant in this was former Lieutenant Governor Ms. Lizanne Dindial.
  • It was in 2004 that Roland was invited by the IDEA organization to attend to their International Conference then held in Ottawa Canada. In 2007 this same organization invited him to their Conference held in Hong Kong.
  • For his theatre achievements Roland was honored, in 2006, with the most prestigious “Cola Debrot Award”, a Cultural Award given for ‘theatre’ only once in 6 years.
  • In 2010 he received the decorations of the “Knight of the Dutch Kingdom”.
  • Roland has written and published several books for children and adults as well as plays in his native language Papiamentu.
  • In 2012 Roland wrote his first children novel in Dutch entitled “Vuurwerk in mijn hoofd” , (Fireworks in my head) which was a huge success.
  • Roland gained popularity in the former Netherlands Antilles as well as in The Netherlands with his successful monologue “Ninga Bon” (denial), directed by the Venezuelan director Carlos Acosta.
  • South Africa, and especially Ms Myriam Makeba, has played a very important role in Roland’s development, growing up and maturing both as a youngster and as an artist. He feels very proud and honoured and still considers it a privilege having met Ms Makeba twice in his life.
  • So when in 2014 Roland was invited to participate at the TWIST writers’ project in Grahamstown, he was more than honored to oblige. In this project he worked with Roel Twijnstra, Emma Durden, Kobus Moolman, Neil Coppen, Ntsieng Mokgoro, Samson AmJay Mlambo, amongst others.
  • In Curaçao he had the honor of working with 2 South African writers in a European literary event called Writers Unlimited: Rayda Jacob and Diana Ferrus.
  • Roland Colastica plays, writes and performs in 4 languages: his native language Papiamentu, his colonial language Dutch, and English and Spanish, languages he speaks fluently. He writes plays and tells stories both for children and adults.

DESIRE: Synopsis
In interaction with the audience, Roland Colastica will sing, tell stories, perform poems and use theatre /acting elements to make the audience experience the beauty of verbal expression.

Desire, a theatrical storytelling performance
Duration: 60 min.
Language: English

For one hour Desire will take the audience back to the past through oral stories and bring them back to our daily life in the present through contemporary stories and poems. Desire will tell the stories of the daily life then of the ancestors of the present black community in Curaçao. It will also give a glimpse into how the colonial times influenced our identity and pulled us away from our African customs and culture as well as how it forced us to fight for afro recognition, even though we are 20.000 km from the African continent.

Every soul tells a story.

(makamba means white dutch man)(Roland Colastica)
Anecdote/satire about a black man winning a lottery
This Black man hates the white’s, because he wanted so badly to be white, for being white stands for everything his heart desires: big house at the shore, fancy cars, good job and even though he has all of these he still wants to be white.

Song: Island in the sun (Harry Belafonte)
Song telling about the daily life on a Caribbean Island

Poetry: Granny on the market place (Emeral Johnson)
An old lady is buying on the market: Taste the creative mixture of the creole language of the Caribbean and the power of the elderly Caribbean woman

Storytelling: Ta mi senglé. Ta mi senglá.
(It is not all gold what shines)
Oral story about a young woman who has one desire in her life and that is to marry a man with only golden teeth in his mouth. She will go through hell to discover that everything that shines is gold.

Song: Laman ta duna. Laman ta tuma
(the sea gives, the sea takes it back)(Clemencia)

Storytelling: Luangu.
(mixed colour)
Oral story about the slaves that wanted to fly back to Africa

Storytelling: Nanzi ku La Muérté
( Spider Nanzi and the Death)
Oral story (slave story) about how Nanzi(spider) defeated even the death.

Song: Nochi pasoleta
(the night is not bringing anything to eat) (traditional song)

Storytelling: Kositu
(little tiny thing of me)
Oral story about a young mother who trust her little baby to the hunting eagle.

Poetry: Pakiko sigui
(Why should I go on) (Fifi Rademaker)

Storytelling: Underwood: (Marcos Gabriel)
Contemporary story about a man’s desire to believe in the real woman. His real love is writing him every day a letter telling him when she will arrive.

Poetry: Pa grasia di matris
(For the grace of a womb)(Roland Colastica
Poem about how easy it is to blame a man for being a bad father

Storytelling: Tata embarasá
(Pregnant father)(Roland Colastica)
Contemporary story about a man during pregnancy and birth of his child

Storytelling: It’s all about hope(Roland Colastica)
Contemporary story about the child in the adult who never will lose hope.

Song: I am in love with life(Roland Colastica)

Junice Augusta manager
Roland Colastica © 2015