News in Brief


January 2014 Shawn Utsey, a psychology professor from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Fulbright-scholarship holder, arrives in Pietermaritzburg as a host of Sinomlando. He will share his time between teaching and research.


  • December 2013 Sinomlando runs a two-day workshop with staff members of Biloba, an organisation working with migrant workers and their families in Brussels, and some of their local partners. The purpose of the project is to adapt Sinomlando’s methodology to the life conditions of migrant workers in an European city.


  • November 2013 Sinomlando runs a memory work training workshop with staff members of ARESTA, an organisation created to facilitate the social and professional integration of refugees in the Western Cape.


  • November 2013 Nokhaya Makiwane spends two weeks in Togo and Benin to provide technical assistance to managers of OVC organisations trained by Sinomlando who use the memory-box methodology in their work with children and teenagers affected by HIV/AIDS. A similar trip will take place in Ivory Coast in January 2014.


  • November 2013 A two-day workshop concludes the Memories of AIDS project, an oral history project funded by the South African Netherlands Partnership for Alternatives to Development (SANPAD) which consisted in conducting, transcribing and translating into English more than sixty HIV/AIDS support group members, home-based carers and community workers involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Umgungundlovu District. Read the report here.


  • October 2013 A group of twelve HIV positive children teenagers on ART take part in a workshop in Pietermaritzburg to become “youth peer leaders” in the clinics where they receive treatment and in their home environment. This new initiative of Sinomlando aims at strengthening the work with HIV positive children and teenagers on ART in the area.


  • October 2013 More Deaf children benefit from psychosocial support through memory work. Sinomlando runs a training workshop at Indaleni School for the Deaf in Richmond (KwaZulu-Natal). This is the fourth school for the Deaf where Sinomlando is involved.


September 2013 In association with Prof Sabine Marschall (UKZN), the Sinomlando Centre invite academics and postgraduate studies dealing with individual or public memories to present their work at a “Memory Studies Symposium” at the Innovation Centre, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. Well attended this conference will lead to a publication in the course of 2014.

April 2013 With the financial assistance of CCFD, one of Sinomlando’s overseas partners, Cliford Madondo, completes a Masters degree in Leadership and Development in the Graduate School of Business, University of KwaZulu-Natal. This study programme aimed at strengthening the leadership structure of Sinomlando

January 2013 Sinomlando moves to new offices in Langalibalele (formerly Longmarket) Street in Pietermaritzburg. Research-related activities continue to be based on the university campus as before. This move coincides with the appointment of Nokhaya Makiwane as director of Sinomlando and of Cliford Madondo as programme manager. The former director, Philippe Denis, becomes the chairperson of the Research and Development sub-committee.

  • December 2012 Philippe Denis delivered a keynote address at an international conference on “Biographies in Times of Crisis” in Groningen on the theme: “Oral history as a space for disclosure: how faith-based HIV/AIDS support group members speak of their status in oral history narratives”. Radikobo Ntsimane, the deputy director of Sinomlando, read a paper on “The impact of strangerhood on the life of a HIV/AIDS support group”.
  • October 2012 Philippe Denis, the director of Sinomlando, reads a paper entitled “Pain and resilience. How the Mpophomeni Community tries to deal with its history” at the KZN Heritage Liberation Route Archive Colloquium in Durban, an event organised by the KZN Premier’s Office. Read the paper here.


  • September 2012 At the initiative of Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience (ZMTE) and Sinomlando and with the technical support of the Institute for the Healing of Memories more than eighty residents of Mpophomeni, a township built under apartheid, and of the surrounding areas discuss their common but disputed history at a workshop held in the Zenzeleni Community Centre. In the late 1980s a bitter conflict divided these communities resulting in numerous deaths, injuries and destruction of properties.


August 2012 Ten years after joining Sinomlando, Radikobo Ntsimane, who contributed in a significant way to the development of the organisation and of the Oral History Programme in particular, is appointed Senior Research Manager at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum Services in Pietermaritzburg. He remains a member of the Sinomlando Board.

  • July 2012 Anni Tonin, a community nurse employed by Sinomlando since 2009, returns to the UK with her family. As Project Manager, she played a major role in the establishment of the Onjengami Project, a memory-work-based training programme for HIV positive children and teenagers under antiretroviral treatment and well as their families.


February 2012 Radikobo Ntsimane and Nokhaya Makiwane participate in the activities of their Black History Month in Richmond in the state of Virginia. While being there, they provide training in memory Work and oral History to the students of the Department of African American Studies in Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and make presentations in meetings of political leaders and other community gatherings. The training aims at helping students and community members of Virginia to uncover the lived and silenced experiences of the African Americans who endured the legacy of the Massive Resistance Movement in 1958.

December 2011 A delegation from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the United States came to Pietermaritzburg to attend a week-long oral history workshop facilitated by the Sinomlando Centre. They are preparing for an oral history project with former members of the civil rights movement, mostly African American activists, in the state of Virginia. The delegation included Henry L. Marsh III, a member of the American Senate.

December 2011 On 12 December 2012 Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience (ZMTE) organised the pre-launch of the MpophomeniEco-Museum in the presence of Department of Art and Culture and Umgeni Municipality officials, community members and foreign visitors. On this occasion, Sinomlando presented two volumes, in English and in isiZulu, of interview transcripts related to the history of Mpophomeni. This marked the end of a three-year oral history project jointly conducted by ZMTE and the Sinomlando Centre with funding from the National Lottery.


  • November 2011 On 28 and 30 November respectively staff members from the SinomlandoCentre presentedtheir work at a conference of the Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance (SAHARA) in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. AnniTonin and SiboneloNgubane read a paper on memory work and adherence to ART in a group of HIV positive children and ClifordMadondo spoke of the implementation of the memory-box methodology in Mpilonhle, Ladysmith, and ACTS, White River.



  • November 2011 A partnership agreement was signed between the Africaid Trust (Whizzkidsunited) [],a programme aimed at mitigating the effects of HIV/AIDS in the youth through football, and Sinomlando. In terms of this agreement Sinomlando will use Whizzkids' facilities at Edendale Hospital to do memory work with HIV positive children and adolescents.


October 2011 On 26 October Philippe Denis and Graham Duncan's book on the history of Fedsem was launched at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.Desmondvan der Water and Simon Gqubule, who presented another book on Fedsem, delivered an address.Numerous former students and staff members of the seminary were present.The book is published by Cluster Publications under the title The Native School which Caused All the Trouble. A History of the Federal Theological Seminary.The book is largely based on oral history interviews.


  • September 2011 On 16 September Philippe Denis, the Director of the Sinomlando Centre, delivered the keynote address at the Eastern Cape Oral History Conference in East London. This gathering was organised by the Eastern Cape Archives Service.


May 2011 On 20 May 25 Memory Trainers trained by Sinomlandograduated in Mafikeng, North-West Province, alongside 200 Social Auxiliary Workers and Trauma Counsellors. Prof P. Denis, Sinomlando Director, assisted Ms M. Mokomele-Mothibi, MEC for Social Development, Women, Children and People with Disabilities, in handing over the certificates to all the graduates. A MOU between Sinomlando and the Department for a memory work programme in the province will soon be signed.


  • May 2011 Staff members of the Sinomlando Centre presented their work at the Regional Psychosocial Forum in Johannesburg. Organised by the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) and the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) on 15-17 May, this event attracted more than 200 NGO workers, academics and government officials.


April 2011 The Director of the Sinomlando Centre, Philippe Denis, concluded the 50th anniversary of the CCFD Central Region in Orléans alongside the CCFD Chairperson Guy Aurenche. More than 1000 Christian activists and many children attended this function. Project Manager Cliford Madondo was also present. Both took part in a development awareness campaign in France during which they addressed school learners, NGO workers and parish members in various areas.
  • March 2011 On 18 March a copy of Philippe Denis, Radikobo Ntsimane et Thomas Cannell�?s book Indians versus Russians. An oral history of political violence in Nxamalala (1987-1993) was solemny handed over to all the survivors of violence who shared their stories to the Sinomlando fieldworkers at a function held in Pietermaritzburg.
  • March 2011 On 14-15 March a workshop jointly organised by the Sinomlando Centre, Deaf South Africa and Fulton School for the Deaf discussed how to adapt the methodology of memory work to the psycho-social needs of Deaf children in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • February 2011 A Closure Organisational Capacity Assessment (CLOCA) workshop facilitated by USAID marked the end of the three-year memory work scale-up programme jointly run by CERI and Sinomlando in six South African provinces. As a result of this programme memory work was introduced in 87 OVC organisations and 149 Memory Trainers completed a three-month course.
  • January 2011 Sinomlando’s Onjengami Project offered to provide psychosocial support to the children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS attending activities on the National Integrated Programme (NIP) site in Impendle, a rural area close to the Drakensberg mountains. A few dozens of children subsequently benefited from this programme.
  • December 2011 On 16 December the Director of Sinomlando argued that memory work may be used to defeat denial and stigma at a conference organised by Paroles d’enfants at UNESCO in Paris on the theme “ghosts, monsters and clandestine passengers: this part of ourselves which escapes us”. This event attracted more than a thousand child care and mental health professionals.


August 2010 On 20-21 August a group of Mpophomeni residents met at the KenosisConference Centre near Pietermaritzburg to share their memories. Some of them were in Mpophomeni since the late 1960s and had vivid memories of the apartheid years. Many had been affected by the violent dismissal of Sarmcolworkers in 1985. Sinomlando staff recorded their stories with a view to compiling material for a community museum in Mpophomeni.
  • August 2010 On 5 August 2010 Philippe Denis and Nokhaya Makiwane made a presentation on memory work and resilience at a consultation organised by the Department of Social Development in Pretoria. The purpose of this gathering was to discuss draft guidelines on psychosocial for children with HIV and other chronic conditions.
  • April 2010 Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience (ZMTE), a community-based organization established in 1999 to develop heritage projects in the township, allocates part of a grant from the National Lottery to Sinomlando for the management of an oral history project.
  • March 2010 On 29-30 March fourteen fieldworkers, mostly students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, participated in an oral training workshop. They will be deployed to the various oral history projects run by Sinomlando.
  • March 2010 Nokhaya Makiwane, Memory Work Programme Manager, is invited to take part in an exposure programme organised by CCFD in France. She briefed numerous local partners in central France on the work of Sinomlando.
  • January 2010 Sinomlando, in partnership with Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Pediatric Foundation (EGPAF), the Thandanani Children's Foundation and the Ujamaa Centre, starts a two-year programme aiming at improving access to holistic healthcare and psychosocial support for HIV positive children, other OVCs and their families. Called "Onjengami" ("who is like me" in isiZulu, this programme is funded by the Belgian Embassy in Pretoria.
  • January 2010 From 17 January to 12 February and again from 4 to 16 April a group of twenty-two community workers from the Free State and a few others from KwaZulu-Natal participated in a memory work training programme jointly organised by Children Emergency Relief International (CERI) and Sinomlando in Pietermaritzburg. The course includes fieldwork supervised by a team of Sinomlando mentors.
  • December 2009 On 5-19 December 2009 Vincent Sezibera, Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology, National University of Rwanda, and long-time partner of Sinomlando, evaluates the memory work projects initiated in Ivory Coast and Benin after an exposure programme in South Africa [Report]. "It is clear," he concludes, "that a transfer of skills has taken place after the visit to South Africa and that a solid foundation was laid for a dissemination of the methodology in Ivory Coast and Benin"
  • December 2009 On 9-10 December 20009 Radikobo Ntsimane and Scott Houser facilitated a two-day training workshop for a group of archivists, librarians, museum workers, township activists and teachers at the Nkosi Luthuli International Conference Centre in Durban. The training of these 35 heritage workers happened during the annual conference of the Provincial Archives and the Library Services Conference. It was the second time that Sinomlando was invited to run an oral history workshop at this conference.
  • December 2009 At the initiative of Secours catholique and with the financial support of the Air France Foundation an exhibition of twelve photos on AIDS orphans and memory boxes by Patrick Delapierre is inaugurated at the EHESS in Paris. [Presentation Document]. The Director of Sinomlando, Philippe Denis, is the keynote speaker. The exhibition will be displayed in several French airports during the course of 2010.
  • November 2009 OA 10-page article on AIDS orphans and memory boxes, by Anne Guion and with photos of Patrick Delapierre, appears in the French magazine La Vie. The material for this article was collected during a ten-day visit to Sinomlando in July 2009.
  • November 2009 On 26-28 November 2009 Philippe Denis and Philisiwe Zuma went to Beira, Mozambique to lay the foundation of a partnership with Terre des HommesLausanne. Sinomlando will build capacity in psychosocial support to OVCs in Beirathrough the memory box and hero book methodologies. Led by Dominique Mamet and Philisiwe Zuma the programme will span over two years. A staff member from TDH, Jaime Dambo, will attend a training workshop in January 2010 in Pietermaritzburg.
  • November 2009 At the initiative of CCFD and Secours catholique Sinomlandocommissioned Project Empower, a consultant based in Durban, to do an external evaluation of its Memory Work Programme[Evaluation Report]. "There can be no doubt of the value of Sinomlando's approach to memory work for orphans in the context of the South African HIV epidemic", the reports concludes. "Sinomlandomemory work and its development should be supported in order to enable their attempts to replicate the work throughout South Africa."
  • October 2009 At the invitation of the KwaZulu-Natal Council of Churches and other members of the Healing of Memories Programme Sinomlandofacilitated a workshop during which the stories of fifteen victims of political violence, xenophobia and other forms of abuse were recorded. The workshop took place in Mariannhill from 30 October to 1 November 2009
  • October 2009 French psychologist Anne-Sophie Renucci shared the experience she gained during an exposure programme organized in 2008 by Sinomlando. Community psychology is a relatively new discipline in Europe. Memory work was described as an innovative form of community psychology in the mental health sector.
  • September 2009 Twenty-two community workers from the Limpopo province start a new three-month capacity building course organised Sinomlando with the support of its American partner organisation CERI.
  • September 2009 140 memory workers from all over South Africa attend a conference on memory work and psychosocial support to orphans and vulnerable children in Pietermaritzburg. This conference is jointly organised by CERI and Sinomlando. In the opening speech the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize, calls for a partnership between government and civil society to respond to the needs of children in need. The keynote speaker, Dr Vincent Sezibera, the Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology at the National University of Rwanda, shows the effect of trauma on children affected by the genocide in Rwanda. During the conference fifteen community workers from OVC organisations in the Mpumalanga province receive certificates after a three-month course in memory work followed by fieldwork.
  • August 2009 Sinomlando receives a grant from the Belgian Embassy in Pretoria to give HIV positive children and other OVCs and their families improved access to holistic health care and psychosocial support in. This project will be run over a period of two years in Pietermaritzburg and Richmond in partnership with Thandanani Children's Foundation, the Ujamaa Centre and Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric Foundation.
  • June 2009 A group of HIV positive children on ARV treatment took part in a two-day memory work programme in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg. A workshop was organisedfor their caregivers, mostly grannies and aunties, at the same time. It was the first activity of the "Onjengami Project". In isiZulu onjengami means "Who is like me?"
  • May 2009 Twenty-two community workers from various parts of KwaZulu-Natal started a three-month memory work training programme jointly organised by the SinomlandoCentre and CERI.
  • April 2009 Philippe Denis delivered a paper on "Oral History and Memory Work in South Africa" at a session of the Royal Academy of Belgium of which he is an associate member.
  • April 2009 Staff from the Sinomlando Centre attended the 4th South African AIDS Conference on 1-3 April 2009 with a poster on "Quantity versus quality? Scaling up memory work with orphans and vulnerable children from the Natal Midlands to South Africa and beyond.
  • March 2009 Fourteen fieldworkers of Ulwazi, an indigenous knowledge programme of the Durban City Library, take part in a oral history training workshop facilitated by Sinomlando.
  • January 2009 Dan Le Cordeur, the new CERI National Director, will assist Sinomlando in rolling out memory work in six South African provinces. An Anglican priest with a vast experience in community development and HIV/AIDS management, Dan is a well-known figure in the NGO sector in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The three-year programme he will be heading aims at developing capacity in memory work in a wide variety of NGOs and FBOs in the country. It is funded by PEPFAR, a programme of the American government.
  • January 2009 Sixteen community workers from the Mpumalanga province and five from KwaZulu-Natal start a three-month training programme in memory work and psychosocial support to OVCs with a view to developing capacity in their organisations.
  • December 2008 Ten community workers from Pietermaritzburg and Durban graduate after completing a ten-month capacity building course in memory work and psycho-social support to orphans and vulnerable children organised by Sinomlando.
  • October 2008 First memory work training workshops in the Congo. In October Jeanne d'Arc Kenge, who received training in Pietermaritzburg earlier this year, facilitated a workshop in Mbuji-Maji and another one in Kinshasa. Further training takes place in December of the same year.
  • October 2008 The first Witness Nelson Mandela Speech Contest took place in Pietermaritzburg on 17 October. Lindelwa Sikakane, a learner from Silver Heights Secondary School, won the English prize with a speech on the Seven-Day War and Nonjabulo Mncwabe, from Epworth School, the Zulu prize with a speech on AIDS orphans. Sinomlando contributed to this event, in partnership with the Greater Edendale Development Initiative, by creating documentation portfolios, including suggestions for oral history research, for the contestants.
  • September 2008 Guests from Man (Ivory Coast), Cotonou (Benin), Bambari (Republic of Central Africa) and Bukavu (RDC) have arrived in Pietermaritzburg. In September and October they participate in a 19-day exposure programme to Sinomlando'sMemory Work. During their stay the trainees visit a children's camp, four-day workshop, partner organisations and more. All four guests are project coordinators in Caritas offices of their home countries, to which they return on 11 October.
  • August 2008 A book on oral history in South Africa is published by the SinomlandoCentre and UKZN Press in September 2008. It shows how the cultural, political, socio-economic and intellectual evolutions affect the oral history process. Read more...
  • July 2008 A new round of Sinomlando's Capacity Building Programme has started with participants mostly from the Eastern Cape province and facilitated in cooperation with Children's Emergency Relief International. Read more...
  • July 2008 The Sinomlando Centre for Oral History and Memory Work in Africa now receives funding for its Memory Work from the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Read more...
  • June 2008 After several months at the Sinomlando Centre in Pietermaritzburg Jeanne d'Arc Kengne from Cameroon has now initiated Memory Work to begin in her home country. Read more...
  • June 2008 Young men and women from Mpophomeni received their certificates after participating in an "Introduction to Oral History" provided by the Sinomlando Centre. Read more...