Islington pupils create mural designs for upcoming anti-apartheid heritage centre

Nelson Mandela during his meeting with Conservative Party leader David Cameron at The Dorchester in

A planned heritage centre will pay homage to the anti-apartheid movement lead by leaders like Nelson Mandela - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Islington primary school children have been busy creating anti-apartheid drawings for a mural at a heritage centre due to open in 2023. 

The Year 3 Moreland Primary School pupils, aged seven and eight, showed off their designs at a workshop with education charity the Liliesleaf Trust UK on October 20. 

The Trust plans to open a new cultural heritage centre on Penton Street in 2023.

It will be based in the derelict former headquarters of the African National Congress, the anti-apartheid party led by Nelson Mandela. 

Drawings of Mandela, the South African flag and symbolic flowers, were inspired by the historic campaign against apartheid. 

An Islington Year 3 students mural design for a new heritage centre planned in Penton Street

An Islington Year 3 students mural design for a new heritage centre planned in Penton Street - Credit: Moreland Primary School

Hannah Watson, the Year 3 teacher who ran the workshop, said: “The children absolutely loved it. Caroline Kamana [Project Director for the Liliesleaf Trust UK] and councillor Valerie Bossman-Quarshie came and spoke about apartheid and we learned about the different flowers from South Africa and why they are important. 

“This term the children learned about Nelson Mandela. They find it really interesting and they are capable of understanding what apartheid was. They’re very empathetic.” 

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Ms Kamana, who runs anti-apartheid workshops with schools across Islington, said: “The workshop with Moreland primary was fabulous. They were an incredible bunch and a really responsive group of children."

She said she was “quite astounded” at the amount of background knowledge the children had. They had been doing an in-depth study of Nelson Mandela and related topics across the curriculum. 

Ms Kamana added: “Nelson Mandela said: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.

"There is such importance in representational history being delivered to our young people which can continue to motivate people to become change-makers themselves."

Mural designs for Islington's new cultural heritage centre

Mural designs for Islington's new cultural heritage centre - Credit: Moreland Primary School

Next March will mark 30 years since the ANC headquarters on Penton Street site was bombed by agents working for the South African government.

The ANC continued to operate in the building until 1994, when Mandela was democratically elected as South Africa’s President. 

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