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A day before the country celebrated Freedom Day (27 April), the University of Fort Hare’s Hunterstoun Centre and Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies launched a documentary titled: Intellectual Giants of the Eastern Cape.

The one-hour-long doccie retraces and retells the history of some of the intellectual giants from the province who have paved the way for the intellectual freedom enjoyed by all today. These include Tiyo Soga, John Tengo Jabavu, Z.K Mathews,  Cecilia Makiwane and Monica Wilson.

The internal pre-screening event was held at the De Beers Art Gallery on the Alice Campus and invited guests attended the event virtually and in-person.

Funded by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), the documentary was commissioned by the University of Fort Hare’s Hunterstoun Centre.

The documentary film is the final stage of the Intellectual Heritage and Land project that the Hunterstoun Centre has been undertaking. 

The title of the film references a quote by Sir Isaac Newton that has also been co-opted by Google Scholar: ‘If I have seen further it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.’

Who are the intellectual giants of the Eastern Cape and as UFH Vice-Chancellor Prof Buhlungu asks in the film ‘How can we get anywhere if we don't know who they are - if we can't even get to their shoulders?’

The intention of the film is to enable people to form a connection with the past in terms of their intellectual identity, as Eastern Cape intellectuals.  It intentionally addresses students, but also aims to provoke intergenerational conversations about this history and so harness oral history of these people and their time.

The film takes the viewers on a road trip through the Eastern Cape and explores the history of these giants who were the products of mission schools, as well as the generation that followed them.


Click here to watch a video clip of the launch: https://youtu.be/BERKHS10k84