Twin Mosia is a young gentleman from the Free State who is clearly driven by passion! Raised in the small farming town of Petrus Steyn, which Mosia left in search of work, he was employed as a gardener, construction worker and eventually a miner, until he decided to return home to pursue his interest in history. Most people view the Anglo-Boer War as a white man’s war, but through his work Mosia is educating the public about the important role that black, Indian and coloured people played in the war.
There were an estimated 15 000 ‘agterryers’ (after riders) who assisted with the war efforts (either voluntarily or through conscription), working as military servants responsible for the supervision of supplies and horses. There is also evidence that many of these men were armed, and took an active role in battle. In addition to the agterryers who were lost in battle, their are also the thousands of black men and women who died in concentration camps.
Until recently very little has been made of the role that non-whites played in the Boer War, but Mosia has helped to raise awareness through historical reenactments that he participates in, and helps to organise. History was made in 2014 when the first reenactment with an agterryer took place. Mosia played the role in the commemoration of the Battle of Talana that initially took place on the 20th October 1899 in Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal.
Since then Mosia has made it his mission to correctly reflect the role that all people in South Africa played in the Anglo-Boer War, as well as the Basotho War. He also has plans to open the Elandskop Museum in his hometown of Mamafubedu (formerly Petru Steyn), transforming a disused, vandalised train station into a national heritage site. But funds are not easy to come by, so Mosia plans to cycle more than 3000km to raise money for his dream. He also intends to collect stones from both the black and white concentration camps of the Anglo-Boer War, in order to build the first ever reconciliation monument to honour those who died in the war.
In 2016, Mosia was rewarded for his efforts with a Golden Shield National Heritage Award from the National Heritage Council for his contribution to South African heritage, as well as receiving a Gold Medal and the title of Reconciliation and Unity Ambassador for his contribution to the education of the public. And earlier this year Mosia made the Mail & Guardian’s list of exceptional young South Africans – exceptional he certainly is!
Images courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.co.za and www.theheritageportal.co.za