South Africa: Department of Education is grateful that their teachers and learners have been able to rekindle this programme which helps them to showcase the abundant talent of our learners in music, culture and dance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deprived them of this opportunity since 2020.
According to the Minister of the Department of Education, We are thus very pleased to once again witness and appreciate the dedication of all role-players, which manifests in the sweet musical rendition from our dear learners.
We, therefore, congratulate all schools which made it to this level and hope that those who will make it beyond this provincial Eisteddfod will further fly the flag of the Place of the Rising Sun at the National level.
We are truly confident that Mpumalanga Province will make its presence felt at that level, given the high standards displayed here.
We are also grateful to Emalahleni Local Municipality for allowing us to host the Eisteddfod.
Emalahleni is known for producing musical legends such as the late Hugh Masikela and SA Idol winners Musa and Zama.
This clearly confirms that we are hosted by the “Home for Musical Expedition”, where only the best are born and bred.
Department appreciated all the teachers who, besides very challenging situations, have continued to live up to expectations to deliver on their responsibilities.
If it were not for their commitment and foresight, it would not be as joyful as it is today, said Ngiyabonga Kakhulu.
He added: It is thus evident to all of us that all of you who have made it to this level are champions in your own right.
Let us celebrate our culture and heritage in song and dance as we also embrace our diversity, he added.
Let us also allow the bright colours of our heritage, the melodies of our spirit and soul, as well as our yearning for unity and greatness to come through as we compete to see the best in us through this Eisteddfod.
As we partake in this choral Eisteddfod, let us be reminded of the great participants of the past, like Pretty Yende, who have demonstrated that choral music is not just a hobby but can be a career that can take some of you further in life.
Pretty has moved beyond the borders of South Africa to Europe and the world as an opera singer of note.
We need a lot of singers to come out of this choral Eisteddfod to represent our Province and nation worldwide.
William Shakespeare once characterised the essence of music as astounding food for the soul and goodness.
To this effect, he said :
“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
If music be the food of love, play on.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.”
He further wished all the best, letting the music play on and on with dancing and ululating the African style. The pitch and the tone of the African vocal cords with soothing melodies definitely reverberate through our ears to pierce our hearts and souls.
We sing, dance and take in the virtues and love that our African life and heritage feed upon us as we look into the future with renewed hope for life and success.
Life is our heritage; music is our heritage. We celebrate life and music today.
Today we sing with joy and enjoyment.
He also expresses his gratitude to teachers, teacher formations, news learners organisations, SGBs and parents for their roles in making this Eisteddfod a success from day one. Your contributions are highly valued.
We are also indebted to all the officials at the school level, circuits, districts and provincial levels who have tirelessly and selflessly ensured that the hosting of the various levels of the Eisteddfod succeeds.
On that note, I want to thank the programme directors, the pianists, conductors, scorers, ushers and everyone who is and has contributed to the staging of this event. You have done a great job, and thank you for that.
The Programme Director, one of our best and most loyal officials in the Department, has been working hard and efficiently with her team to ensure the extra-curricular programmes, including this Eisteddfod throughout the Province, are impeccably offered at our schools.
If it wasn’t for her and her team, this Eisteddfod would not have been a great success that it is today.
It is out of her dedication, commitment and foresight that the Provincial Choral Eisteddfod grew in leaps and bounds.
Indeed we wish to honour and bid farewell to this doyen, an ideal servant of the people of the Place of the Rising Sun, as she has decided to retire from the service of the Department.
I have been told that this Eisteddfod is her last as an official in the Department as the next one will be hosted while she is a pensioner.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please let us stand in ovation as I present Ms Thuli Nagel, the Director for Curriculum Enrichment, with a token of appreciation for having served the Department with love, dedication and aplomb.
Enjoy, and may the best of you go through it.