Matthew Willman, The Inanda Heritage Collection, from PRIVATE 36 – AFRIKA[T]he Inanda Heritage Route in KwaZulu-Natal lies a few kilometers north of Durban, stretching from the Indian Ocean where the Umgeni River flows out into the warm ocean current backwards along the river through rural and urban township settlements that feed the labor force of Durban. An area that roles through the valley of the Inanda, in between the “Valley of a Thousand Hills” and up and out towards Pietermaritzburg, some 80 km’s north-west of Durban. This is where you will find the newly established Inanda Heritage Route.
On newspapers and televisions we saw the images of the battles that came out of the much publicized townships of Soweto, Kayalitcha, Orlando, Umlazi and Alexandria but only few know that the struggles, battles and beliefs of those who fought in townships around South Africa began in the valley of the Inanda more than 90 years ago. Mr. Mandela urges all South Africans to know their past; to quote his words: “You don’t really know who you are if you don’t know your history”. Thus we seek further and begin to understand that the Inanda Heritage is a legacy that has played a pivotal role in our countries’ history. Often called “The Birth place of Democracy”, the Inanda Heritage Route began its life inhabited by small pockets of Zulu tribes living off the land.
Through the growth and expansion of the port city of Durban the Inanda valley grew and became the home of many different cultures. The Inanda Heritage Route is a celebration of the people who live and work in the valley today.