Prof’s Milestone Book Launch In Evaton

‘From Plough to Entrepreneurship’
Professor Vusimuzi Khumalo launched his book ‘From Plough to Entrepreneurship’ at an historic Wilberforce Community College in Evaton on Saturday the 19th of December. With the event programme directed by the influential business-woman and a native of the location, Thoba Mavimbela Karl-Halla it was surely a memorable occasion attended by key figures and recognizable mentors from all spheres in society. But of note was the people behind the launch who worked hard to bring it to pass, who as the collective from various positions in society called the Evaton Discovery Journey Task Team, who together with other pledgers in the community boosted the launch both financially and with their influence.

The community of Evaton would be pleased that before the main speech the candle lighting ceremony was held as a theme by Sibongile Khumalo symbolic of sunlight to invite the presence of the element of fire, bringing forth new life, and shining the light through our souls and minds seeking harmony and peace which prevailed in abundance. The neutrality of the white candle is symbolic with light and purity. The light which is of God, our Father. The people also remember the fallen martyrs of Evaton and hope for the future generations.

In his lengthy speech, Professor Khumalo took to the stage and narrated the rich historical account of Evaton. As he introduced his 234 pages book, he mentioned that his research upon compiling his offering was informed by the oral history from the elders of Evaton, who afforded him their time for interviews. The Prof further mentioned that it was also influenced by the private business records, the old newspapers that he went through as well as the archives in Pretoria where most documentation from Evaton is recorded.

“I got frustrated during my research as I discovered that some families do away and burn old important documents and letters. I really appeal to communities to treasure old documents for archiving.”I collected very nice old suitcases that were about to be thrown away bearing a rich historical valuable material belonging to the elderly. “As soon as ugogo passes they burn the stuff, albeit we use it as a source gathered as evidence for historical archives.” Lamented Vusimuzi.

According to Prof Vusimuzi, the primary aim of the book, was to explore the origins of the historical evolution of entrepreneurship. An example being the Dlamini’s who owned the butchery in Evaton, as well as in touch with the Moagi’s, in touch with people practising different things in the area, how Evaton shifted from subsistence farming to exploring alternative avenues.
The first part of the book captures the origins of Evaton, the life stories of the people who founded the place as well as the processes and structures through generated local entrepreneurship. To reconstruct the internal and external forces that culminated into the emergence of local entrepreneurship. Who owned entreprizes and what motivated the business owners to establish them and be successful. The Dibuku’s and the Moagi’s, who became generational entrepreneurs. The Mtuba’s who operated shops, with the father being a teacher.

The people used to thrive and create their own public works, such as those specializing in digging graves, sourcing and connecting tap water from pits. It also looks at how these businesses were attuned to changing local markets and economy. How it was linked to the ever changing demands of the local consumers. Finally the book deals with socio economic political issues of the past where our people were compelled to obtain trade licences especially in the abattoir butchery industry where they struggled because of health standards demanded by the former NP government by monopolising slaughtering in the business.

Professor Khumalo encouraged the people to read the book to the children back at home thus encourage the culture of reading other than mostly watching television.
Programme Director Thoba remarked that, “the book restores the knowledge that has been fading. It is more than just a coffee table book.” The ‘Vaal Classique Ensemble’ quintet rendered sultry well crafted classics tunes especially the ‘Mbube’ classic to the much approving delighted audience.
In her speech Makhotso Ramasia related that “Evaton is actually a cradle, as the saying goes “the hand that rocks the cradle does it to rule the world.”She described professor Vusimuzi as a renowned scholar, our own brother, son of the soil, a gift to the present and future generations! Like his name sake uVuse umuzi (you woke up the household/community). We have been raised to observe what you have done for us as a people, thereby shining the light and making us proud, therefore we salute you!

Sadly the current state of Evaton contrasts its history, we are a generation that grew up in large properties. You’ll find Evatonians in big cities across the globe being prosperous because they have been sustained the culture of working hard.

She concluded by mentioning that the book honours the bright minds of Evaton ancestors, boKgotleng, boRabotapi, boMalapo, boSeanamela, boKubheka, boMkhize, boRabodibe, boMavimbela to name but a few, and with the wise words, “Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action reap a habit, sow a habit reap a character, sow a character and reap a destiny.” At the end the audience were given the opportunity to interact with the Prof through a questions and answers session.

Jerry Sokhupe Soweto Sunrise News