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Synopsis: Idabi lenkululeko eQonce

Idabi is a powerful, local history installation, representing a benchmark in Struggle exhibitions. This is achieved by displaying cutting-edge research material and never-before-seen artefacts with the use of exhibition technology. Through QR codes, downloadable via the Museum free wi-fi, you are able to listen to the voices of the struggle stalwarts themselves.

With the aid of visuals, Idabi gives context to the struggle dating back to the days of independent chiefdoms. The display looks at the pioneering role this region played in the origins of black politics in South Africa. The first Native Congress, a forerunner of the ANC, was established in town in December 1891. Indeed, one of their first meetings was held in the town's old library which now forms part of this Museum. We also investigate how race informed the creation of all the settlements in and around town including forced removals such as Old Town (our own District 6). Between 1960-1985 the apartheid government forcibly removed 3.5 million people from their homes in one of the largest mass removals in modern history.

We further look at recorded incidences of early protest, including the Poqo (PAC) attack on the local police station, the strike at Da Gama and resistance to a local visit from Dr HF Verwoerd.

Idabi then contrasts the Ciskei independence celebrations with the funeral of the slain human rights lawyer, Griffiths Mxenge. Ciskei objects on display include a champagne glass used during the inaugural flight of Ciskei International Airways and president-for-life LLW Sebe's very own yellowwood 'throne' covered in real leopard skin. The formation of the local branch of the UDF as well as personal accounts of the Bhisho Massacre and the Golf club attack is displayed with the use of QR codes.

The Border Council of Churches played a vital role in the local struggle. A small group of activists worked under trying circumstances, supporting political detainees and their families, promising students, small developmental projects and communities facing forced removals. Religious leaders often led the protest marches.

Idabi also includes school protests at Forbes Grant, Thembalabantu, Nompendulo High & Breidbach Senior Secondary. The first South African Students' Movement (SASM) in the province was established at Thembalabantu High, Zwelitsha, in 1972. Non-racial sport played a vital role in forging closer relationships between sport persons of various communities, despite detention, harassment and even banishment.

Lastly, we portray local struggle stalwarts who have sacrificed tremendously for our freedom and equality. The display concludes with a few contemporary challenges which remain despite liberation. With the aid of a recording booth where visitors are encouraged to tell their stories, Idabi presents the opportunity for continued dialogue in terms of on-going research and building a struggle archive.