On the 18th of July 2013, it was the former president Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday. We went to the S.A. Sendinggestig Museum or slaves’ church to celebrate. It’s an old building and is more than 200 years old and was built in 1804. The slaves were staying in the slave lodge; they came here for the church services. They used it from 1804 to 1824. Next door was used as a slave school. The slaves helped to build the Sendinggestig and it was built with slate from Robben Island.
In the normal services the slaves took the back seats and the masters sat in the front. They imported the slaves from different countries (Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Indonesia, India, Malaysia) and others were born here in Cape Town into slavery. The masters supplied shelter and food for them.
The Dutch reformed church introduced Christianity to the slaves, after the slaves were Baptized, in 1838. They were setting them free to work for themselves and they were also giving them their own salary. It was like freedom for them.
The building was established in 1979 earlier before that it was a church or a prayer place. The last Service was in 1975. 4 years after the last service it became a Museum.
By MOUSTAFA MANDUNGU
Elementary IIA, Scalabrini Centre English School