Twin Mosia, a keen lover of history, and specifically the Anglo-Boer War is going to use some elbow grease, or rather knee grease, when he will take on a bicycle tour around South Africa. The goal would be to bring attention to, and commemorate all the victims that died in the Anglo-Boer War concentration camps. As everyone might be aware of this war was between two small Republic and the British Empire. Mostly women and children died in these camps, which include both Boer (now Afrikaners) and their black allies and servants.
Twin with two fellow Boer reenactors
Twin plans to visit the exact locations of the concentration camps, specifically focusing on the black concentration camps, or whats left of them as stated on Stowell Kessler book : The Black Concentration Camps of the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902. The book listed 65 camps excluding what could have been temporary and transit camps. Although Twin’s main focus will be the black camps, he will also take the opportunity to pay respect to both, and visit and study the white camps.
Some Boer Women took care of black children as if they were their own in some camps.
The aim of the project is to take some of the lessons of the past and together build a better future for all in South Africa. The theme is: “Swords into Ploughshares”. Along the way the touring team will collect as much information, documents and photos on the black camps as possible by visiting local museums and also interviewing the local communities. It’s no secret that most of the Black camps were not documented and its concerning to think that by 2050 there won’t be anything left or everything will be forgotten. A team of 12 members will be taking part including a cameraman and an emergency first aider. It is also an opportunity to bring South African who loves history together. This project is also being given massive support by the South African Defence Force Association . The SADFA has as its objectives to Commemorate, to give Recognition and to encourage Reconciliation. This year they will be partnering with Twin Mosia to organize local events at each and every Concentration Camp site of the South African War of 1899-1902. The concept is to have 9 teams of military veterans, school children and history enthusiasts simultaneously participating in an “Amazing Race”, visiting each and every Concentration Camp around South Africa over the period 1 – 15 December 2015, planting commemoration crosses as they go, and collecting two stones from each site. This will culminate in the building of a Reconciliation Monument at Elandskop Museum in Petrus Steyn,Free State on 16 December 2015. Each town along the route will form a local Heritage Committee, responsible for preparing and hosting the events and mobilizing their own community in the process. Local, national and international media coverage will be arranged for the whole event. Toastmasters International will assist in presenting a national competition and provide training to secondary school pupils to select the main speakers at each event on the theme: “What lessons can be taken from this tragedy 115 years ago, in making South Africa the country of our Future!” The best school speaker will have the stage at the final event on 16 December and hopefully get an opportunity to tour the POW’s camps overseas ( Sri lanka, St Helana, Indian etc) with Twin sometime in 2016/2017.
Boer women took care of their black servants till a proclamation separated them.
A documentary shooting is planned and a diary which will be published in a book to try and raise funds for Petrus Steyn which will be housing a museum. All nine teams will be collecting two brick sized stones at each of the 65 camps and a monument will then be erected at our museum in honor of more than 20 000 women and children who perished at the black camps. An exciting competition is on the way as Twin wants YOU to HELP design a monument (Details will follow)
Twin Mosia in front of Talana Museum
Twin Mosia is from the Basotho tribe, and has so many hobbies, which include being part of the South African reenactors group for the Anglo Boer War. Many Basotho’s were used by the Boers as “agterryers”. Here is an article about these loyal Africans – The African “Agterryers” of the Boer War. He is currently in studio writing both his first book on the Anglo Boer War and a song inspired by book: The Boer Whore by Nico Moolman which will be directed into a movie! Besides doing what he loves, Twin is very busy and working hard to get Petrus Steyn ready for more than 10 000 expected visitors to his town come December 2015. “We must first get the whole community involved in getting our town clean” Twin said. “We are very thankful to countless institutions that are behind our project. We have The Heritage Foundation ( Die Erfnisstigting), Talana Museum, War Museum and Freedom Park just to name a few.” He added.
Twin and his lovely wife before their wedding, dressed in traditional clothing.
Just a month ago this energetic all-rounder was nominated by his friends and collegues to this years Mail&Guardian 200 Top Young South Africans 2015 for all his hardwork and efforts.” I am hoping to make it amongst the 200!! I am very excited that doing what I love could really bring so much to my life. It encourages more to make a difference every day.” Twin said.
To enhance the experience and promote general tourism to each of the Concentration Camp and other historical sites throughout South Africa, the new technology will be utilized:
- The South African Heritage and Battlefields App has been launched. You choose an Icon that interests you most consisting of Battlefields 1650 -1900, Monuments of South Africa, Concentration camps, South African War’s 1900 – 2000, History, Videos, Treasure hunts, where to Stay, Images of historical places and things, Websites, Join our social media through Facebook, Museums, Join our social responsibility program creating jobs and help preserve our heritage cites.
- Our Maps are GPS enabled and will show you how to get there, GPS coordinates and links to relevant websites! This is a must have for every family going on holiday!! Make your road trip interesting and memorable! This is truly South African, for South Africa
On each site a Treasure Hunt is now being developed. This will enable you and your family/tour mates to discover what really happened where on the site, with pictures, videos and text, linking into your genealogy, finding the hidden treasure, and learning through a unique “Edutainment” the realities of the past. Access will also be through the above mentioned App and available in 5 languages. Details here. Twin believe this kind of project, which is probably the first of its kind will help in raising the much needed funds and attract a lot of visitors overseas and the locals to our place. It will also go further in equipping our research team with the skills and hands on experience. This will also inspire other communities to protect their heritage and come with ways to create employment opportunities in their respective provinces within South Africa. Twin is working with the Earth Ambassadors for the sustainability of his projects and to get other communities across the country to do what he is doing. Anyone that is able to help, or want to support Twin can find him on the Biggest Anglo-Boer War group on Facebook, where he is also an Admin. The site boasts more than 10 000 members worldwide and one of the biggest Anglo-Boer War collections on the internet. On top of this it featured the first successful competition to turn old Anglo-Boer War photo’s into colour
- Inside the UK’s concentration camps
- A Boer Girl’s Memories of the Boer War and concentration camps
- The Boer Vikings of South Africa
- WW2 Afrikaner hero buried in Arlington cemetery, USA
- The Boer War in Colour!
Twin and Johann Hamman, who is also a Anglo-Zulu war reenactor and guide.
If anyone can help with this project Twin and his team are looking for sponsors and support for the following: *5-6 Bicycles and gear *Camping gear *Food supply * Refreshments (Water) * Escort Bakkie or Van with trailer to carry our gear
The form of the activities will be non-political and non-racial. The message conveyed at each site will be worked out by professionals and presented as such. The touring party is planned to consist of military veterans of all colours and creeds of each of the undermentioned associations and other interested parties :
- South African Defence Force Association
- SA Legion
- MK Veterans Association
- APLA Veterans Association
- Transkei/BoputhaTshwana/Venda/Ciskei Veterans Association
- Press contingent
The following is planned at each site:
- Reception of the touring party at the site
- Presentation by the touring party on their purpose
- Presentation of what happened at the site (knowledgeable historian)
- Playing of Last Post, lowering of National Flag and 2 minutes silence
- Playing of First Post and hoisting of National Flag
- Planting of official touring party cross and laying down of poppy’s
- Release of pigeons
- Acceptance of 2 x stones coming from the site
- Playing of national anthem
There will be a local organizing committee that will be responsible to ensure the following:
- Identifying the site
- Getting permission to use site
- Inviting schools and history teachers
- Invite the Boy Scouts and Voortrekker youth movements to participate
- Arranging some racing pigeons from a local fancier to be released at the site
- Arranging food and accommodation for the touring party.
- Inviting the local press.
- Equipment taken along by touring party:
- Flagpole and national flag
- PA system
- Enough Poppy’s to hand out for all in attendance
- Commemoration crosses per venue
Tour will start and end at Petrus Steyn in the Freestate and the unveiling of the memorial will form part of the official opening of the planned Elandskop Museum, Guesthouses, Book Shop,Amusement Park, and a whole lot of entertainment and things to do for the visitors! In the coming months, Twin Mosia will be all over your tv screens,radios and newspapers. Be sure to follow and support!!!