• Green News
  • Bo-Kaap Storytelling Day - City records Living Heritage

Bo-Kaap Storytelling Day - City records Living Heritage


Bo-Kaap Storytelling Day - City of Cape Town is supporting a project to record Living Heritage in the Bo-Kaap for incorporation as part of the proposed redevelopment of the Strand Street Quarry.

On Saturday, 2 March 2024, residents will have the opportunity to contribute material by participating in a Storytelling Day where oral histories, memories and experiences of the Bo-Kaap will be related and recorded.

The Storytelling Day offers local residents the opportunity to share their own stories, memories, and experience of the Bo-Kaap’s history and culture, including the quarry’s and to listen to stories shared by others. They will be captured on video and audio material will be collected as well.

The Storytelling Day is hosted as follows:
• Saturday, 2 March 2024
• From 12:00 to 19:00
• Ghoema Theatre in Rose Street, Bo-Kaap

The intention of the Living Heritage Project is to incorporate the rich history and culture of the Bo-Kaap in tangible ways into the design of the planned redevelopment of the Strand Street Quarry into a community and sporting facility, and mixed use space. It will also inform the concepts for proposed installations, features, and uses of key public spaces at the site.

‘Living heritage is an essential source of identity. It includes our cultural traditions, the stories we tell about our shared past, and our memories of events and rituals. These are also the skills and indigenous knowledge that helped shape our collective being as we work, do business, socialise and congregate in our communities. The Storytelling Day is an opportunity for Bo-Kaap residents to share the stories of life experienced and remembered in this historic neighbourhood,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

Some of the key themes of the Living Heritage Project:
• Iconic local family businesses, such as Rocksole, Atlas, Palmo Meat Market, Rosie’s Corner Café, Yogi Trailors
• Religious leaders
• Cultural icons and activists, among which James Matthews, Tatamkhulu Afrika, Achmat Davids, Abdol Burns
• Choirs and minstrels
• Sporting legends and clubs
• Food vendors and restaurants
• Street names and burial sites

Since January 2024 interviews have been conducted with local residents to gather stories, photos, and video material as per the identified themes.

‘One of the amazing aspects of this project is that local youth facilitators have been mentored and trained in conducting the interviews with pre-selected participants, among which the business people, cultural heroes and activists, and religious leaders. They attended three days of content and technical workshop training about interview skills and the history of the area, while mentors with experience in history and living heritage work accompanied them during the interviews,’ said Alderman Andrews.

Open Forum at the Storytelling Day

Apart from the selected participants who have been interviewed over the past few weeks, either at home or their business, the living heritage project will also be informed by those participating in the open forum at the Storytelling Day.

All of the material gathered during this process will be compiled, analysed, and developed into a narrative to inform the next phases of the project – among which is a co-design process that will involve the local community and stakeholders through facilitated workshops.

The Strand Street Quarry is located along Strand Street and borders the historic Bo-Kaap and De Waterkant. The concept design proposes to turn the quarry site into a multi-use community precinct that integrates sports, culture, economic activities and tourism in a very unique setting.

Last year the public was invited to comment on the proposed concept design for the redevelopment. The design is currently being finalised.

The statutory processes related to the proposed development of the site itself, among which a heritage impact assessment and environmental impact assessment, will follow later this year, and provide the public with further opportunities to comment.

WHAT: Bo-Kaap Storytelling Day
WHERE: Ghoema Theatre, Rose Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town 8001
WHEN: Saturday, 2 March 2024 from 12:00 to 19:00
PHOTO: The Strand Street Quarry site

See also MapMyWay