ADM HEADQUARTERS, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY, 15 JULY 2016
ADM Executive Mayor Cllr. Nomasikizi Konza has paid tribute to Eastern Cape’s tourism development stalwart Mama Tofu (96) who passed on recently.
“Mama Tofu as she was popularly known, has been involved in the tourism development and promotion since 1990’s. She was then working with Khayalabantu Cultural Village, where she was leading the local mama’s in Ngxingxolo Village based Mooiplaas. They used to go and exhibit the Xhosa Culture for both international and local visitors in Khayalabantu Cultural. With the help of tourism stakeholder, she decided to establish her own Ngxingxolo Cultural Village with the intension of showing authentic cultural Xhosa way of life. This was a very good move from Mama Tofu’s side because it allowed her to share her vast knowledge in heritage, cultural beliefs and values with her Village, the District, the Province, the Country and the whole world. On behalf of all of us at ADM, I would like to extend our earnest condolences to the bereaved family, to her friends, the tourism industry in its entirety and all those affected by her passing”, Konza said.
MAMA TOFU’S SIGNIFICANCE IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY
Cultural Villages are an integral part of the tourism development, and as such their existence form part of the main tourism attractions. For Amathole District Municipality, Ngxingxolo Cultural Village remains a force to be reckoned with in attracting international tourists thereby contributing the in the local economic development. Mama Tofu’s death comes not only as a shock in the Amathole District Tourism fraternity but throughout the Provincial Tourism outlook. Ngxingxolo Cultural Village remains a beacon of hope for surrounding communities that had a direct involvement in the day-to-day operations of the cultural village through showcasing of unique craft, cultural dance, story-telling etc. Mama Tofu remained at the forefront of community development and was a stern advocate of moral regeneration through teaching of principles and values.
Through its annual Tourism Awards, Amathole District Municipality has awarded mama Tofu with numerous tourism excellence awards. Mama Tofu has been awarded with 2 ADM Mayoral Special Awards (Women in Tourism) and 6 Best Cultural Village awards respectively in 6 consecutive years. This was a clear indication of her steadfast commitment to tourism service excellence and in growing the tourism industry that is responsive to the local economic development objective of creating local employment amongst others.
Mama Tofu remains one of the few matriarchs in her lifetime. She remained one of the active proponents of ubuntu and a giant to both of her community and the tourism industry. She would attribute her secret to her longevity to her particular choices in her cuisine (samp and beans) and despises any processed food. She would pride herself with her knowledge and unapologetic practice of her Xhosa culture, rite and rituals. She constantly taught the local youth and delighted her visitors with the importance of preserving Xhosa values and custom as a way of championing moral regeneration. Her unconditional humour and the love for people remained the core of her service to both her visitors and her peers. There is no doubt that her legacy will resonate with the need for her local people and the tourism industry at large. It is indeed a great loss for the Tourism Industry.
“May her incredibly unique soul rest in peace and rise in glory. Hamba kakuhle Marhudulu, Skhomo, Tshangisa, sohlala sikukhumbula”, she concluded.
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Issued by the Amathole District Municipality’s Communications and Customer Care Unit.