Mamelodi is well known because of its rich history and cultural diversity. It has became one of the South Africa’s most famous historical townships, especially during apartheid era. According to history and research, the township was established on the farm called vlakfontein in 1951. It was only 16 houses build and the name was later changed to Mamelodi. This name (Mamelodi) has been known until it was officially announced as a township in 1953. Hersman and the farmers were the first residents to live in Mamelodi. They were later employed to in the bottle-making and brick-making factory called (Eerste Fabrieken). The area grew in the 1960’s when African citizens where forced to leave the suburb of Lady Selbourne in Pretoria to Mamelodi, Ga-rankuwa and Attridgeville. The name “Mamelodi” was derived from the name “Mother of Melodies” which was given by the the local residents to the president of the Repubic of South Africa, Paul Kruger because he was able to whistle and imitate bird sounds. For those who were born, grew up here if not been here for a long time, they sometimes call it “Mams” or “Vlak”. Most of the people who were involved in the struggle, some are struggle heroes were from Mamelodi. People like the second African National Congress (ANC) president, Sefako Makgatho (1971-1924), operative of the ANC millitant wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Solomon Mahlangu, Johannes Maisha Stanza Bopape, the first secretary general of Mamelodi Civics Association who died on 12 June 1988 while in prison. Afrikaner minister and prominent opponent of apartheid Dr Nico Smith and human rights activist couples Dr Fabian Ribeiro and his wife Florence who died on the 1st of December 1986, killed by agents of the state in their courtyard. This people are those who died during the struggle and contributed to the democracy of South Africa. They are also well Know as ionic figures from the township. Mamelodi local schools and clinics such as Solomon Mahlangu Freedom school named after the operative of the ANC militant wing Solomon Mahlangu. The school is located in Mamelodi East di 16. Stanza Pobape clinic located in Mamelodi East extension 5 and FF Ribeiro located in Mamelodi West, Naledi. Apart from the struggle that Mamelodi residents faced back in a days, what is interesting about Mamelodi is that, tourists are given the opportunity to test different food that Mamelodi people like. They can visit places such as taverns, local eateries and array of homes to enjoy bunny chow (Sphatlho), pap and mogodu and shisa nyama. The most popular sport in Mamelodi is football. Mamelodi Sundows being the team putting Mamelodi on the international map. Mamelodi is also a home to Kaizer Chiefs star George Lebese and Lucky Mohomi who lived in Mamelodi. Lucky Mohumi attended his high school at Lehlabile Secondary School in Mamelodi East, Gardens.
Source: Tshwane Voice Newspaper & Wikipedia, embassydirect, sahistory and heartsofcompassion.
By: Fortunate Machaba