Family and friends launch a foundation to honour legendary Mattera

FILE IMAGE: November 02, 2015. Two of the six Lifetime Achievement Awards recipients. Photographer Omar Badsha (Visual Arts) takes a snap with his cellphone of Don Mattera (Literature) during the latters acceptance speech. The 18th Annual Arts and Culture Trust Awards. Held at the Maslow Hotel, Sandton.
FILE IMAGE: November 02, 2015. Two of the six Lifetime Achievement Awards recipients. Photographer Omar Badsha (Visual Arts) takes a snap with his cellphone of Don Mattera (Literature) during the latters acceptance speech. The 18th Annual Arts and Culture Trust Awards. Held at the Maslow Hotel, Sandton.
Image: John Hogg

A foundation to honour legendary poet, writer and Struggle veteran Don Mattera will be launched on Saturday at 5pm in Eldorado Park by friends and his family.

Mattera's son Teddy said the idea to start a foundation in his father's name came about last year after a gathering of friends and family to do something about his legacy.

"We decided to do something to recognise Mattera's work as a remarkable South African in the role he played in arts, poetry literature and politics," he said.

"The celebration event will pay homage to a true 'son of the soil' at the Don Mateman Civic Hall in Eldorado Park on February 1.

Mattera has written poetry and an autobiography called Memory is the Weapon. He has written plays and children stories as well.

He was awarded the Steve Biko prize for his autobiography.

Mattera has worked as a journalist for Sowetan, The Sunday Times and The Weekly Mail, now Mail & Guardian.

Teddy said the launch will kick-start with Mattera himself performing and reading his poetry as a main speaker.

Poet, writer and producer Lebo Mashile will be among the invited artists.

Teddy said there will also be other guests, including locals from Soweto, Eldorado Park and all communities who recognise and respect Mattera's work.

Chairperson of the Don Mattera Legacy organising committee, Dr Leonard Martin, said they were fully committed and ready to build an unbreakable basis for the foundation.

"His is a view to many who know the contributions of this titan of the South African liberation Struggle," said Martin.

He said the foundation wants to ensure that Mattera's legacy remains relevant to the current as well as future generations to recognise and appreciate the immense sacrifice and contribution he made on behalf of the classified "coloureds" in the realm of literature arts, journalism and the liberation of SA.

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