Skip to main content

The KZN Oral History Unit forms part of the Archives and Records Service in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. The KZN Oral History unit has recorded and preserved oral histories since 2012, earning along the way a strong reputation for multidisciplinary outreach to both historic recordings and community dialog. Our mission is to ensure that current and future generations of scholars, researchers, and interested individuals are able to understand the history of KwaZulu-Natal.


Oral History is loosely defined as the process of recording contemporary memories, reminiscences, past experiences and eyewitness accounts about events of both important and everyday citizens. Oral traditions have in many cases been passed down verbally from one generation to the next and thus caution should exercise by the interviewee to attempt to be as accurate as possible when recording the interview. 


"Heritage is our shared inheritance received from past generations and passed on to present and future generations. It is an expression of the traditions, customs, rituals, practices, beliefs and legacies that is practiced by and transferred from generation to generation. Heritage, both tangible and intangible/living heritage, provides the basis for a shared culture and creativity in the arts.


“cultural expressions and practices that form a body of knowledge and provide for continuity, dynamism, and meaning of social life to generations of people as individuals, social groups, and communities. Living heritage allows for identity and a sense of belonging for people as well as an accumulation of intellectual capital for current and future generations in the context of mutual respect for human, social, and cultural rights”.


Oral history has become a transformational mechanism through which past imbalances are addressed and provides a reliable source to augment absent knowledge to the Archive repository of our turbulent past. It is important that a large section of society is interviewed in order to option as much knowledge as possible before the information is lost indefinitely.


Your Browser is not Supported

To use aviary, please update your browser to the latest version

Download Supported Browser


I understand the consequences
Go to Homepage

Accessibility icon

Accessibility issues with this page?
Please click here to let us know.