Twin Mosia

Founder, Elandskop Museum

Twin Mosia is a man on a mission. He comes from a small town in the Free State called Mamafubedu Petrus Steyn, where he’s been actively involved in the community since he was a child. Mosia spent a lot of time working on local projects and in various other roles until, in 2015, he left his job as a miner to focus on his passion — South African history and heritage.

“I have had a love and passion for South African history, culture and heritage since my early days at primary school,” says Mosia. “I am a typical farm boy who didn’t believe in cities, but due to a lack of employment opportunities in Mamafubedu Petrus Steyn, I travelled across the country looking for work. I was a gardener, construction worker, driver, miner and everything else in between until I decided to return home and focus on my passion for history.”

Mosia decided to open a museum in his hometown. Since jobs are scarce and nothing happens in the area, despite its potential, he decided to make it happen himself. The museum is called Elandskop Museum, named after a local hill, and will be housed at an old train station that belongs to Transnet. He plans to return it to its former glory.

“I identified the train station as it forms part of the history and heritage of our town and has been badly vandalised, so we are in talks with Transnet and other stakeholders to have the station leased or donated to us,” he adds. “The museum will be home to an art gallery, book shop, cultural village and an arts and crafts shop, to name but a few.”

However, funds are not easy to come by, so Mosia plans to cycle more than 3 000km to raise money for his dream. He also wanted to collect stones from both the black and white concentration camps of the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) to build the first ever reconciliation monument to honour those who died in the war.

“This idea slowly took root, and I’ve had the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Freedom Park, South African Military Veterans, and the Heritage Foundation all show interest,” says Mosia. “While the cycle tour hasn’t taken place yet as we are seeking funding, we’ve had plenty of visitors, even without [yet having] a museum. It has been running as a virtual establishment and has gone on to represent South Africa as a finalist in the African Youth Awards 2016 in the Civil Society of the Year category. We’ve had visitors from the Netherlands, Australia and Belgium.”

In 2016, Mosia also received a Golden Shield National Heritage Award from the National Heritage Council for his contribution to South African heritage. He also received a Gold Medal and the title of Reconciliation and Unity Ambassador for his contribution to the education of the public.

“As a young person with dreams I believe our biggest obstacles are drugs, the educational system and youth development. There is a huge need for the government to support those who take initiative,” concludes Mosia. “Many of my peers have given up because there is a lack of support. Our youth is frustrated and have lost hope. I challenge the youth all to rise up and take this country to where it needs to be. Do your bit for a better South Africa.”

— Tamsin Oxford