ALLIANCE Française, Pietermaritzburg will be hosting a series of events in the city as part of its French Week celebrations, which run from Monday, May 23 to Sunday, May 29.
Glenn Flanagan, president of Alliance Française, Pietermaritzburg said: “Please check your busy diaries and try to slot in an outing or two to enjoy our local Francophilia and Francophonia events.
“We would especially appreciate your company on Friday evening (May 27) at the Tatham Art Gallery to welcome our Consul Général of France, Raymong Quereilhac and Madame Quereilhac, their American friend, Maggi Askari and Xavier Maillart from Paris – a descendant of Xavier Uhlmann, who was the Prince Imperial’s valet from birth.
“If the spirit and your pocket moves you, please do join us at any of our other events in the week – perhaps an artisan pizza with the La Dante Alighieri members or a ‘safari’ to the Pomeroy, Dundee and Uqweqwe along La Route du Prince Impérial, Louis Napoléon, after the commemorative mass for the Prince Imperial on Saturday, May 28. We would greatly enjoy your company in this unique cultural tourism development venture!”
The programme is as follows:
- May 23, 7.30 am at the Grange Primary School – presentation of the Alliance Française, Pietermaritzburg and the French Presence in Pietermaritzburg and KwaZulu-Natal: La Route du Prince Impérial, Louis Napoléon, for pupils in grades four, five and six. There will also be a reading of Sikhumbuzo Khumalo’s (Bodado Productions) Mr Litter/Monsieur Détritus et Ses Amis (Glenn Flanagan) for pupils in grades one, two and three.
- Tuesday, May 24 at 12 noon at Traffords – A celebration of the ground-breaking French-styled wines, Empress Eugénie and The Prince Impérial, inspired by the Napoleonic legend and produced by Domaine des Dieux of the Himmel-en-Aarde Valley. There will also be a reading of Sikhumbuzo Khumalo’s (Bodado Productions) Mr Litter/Monsieur Détritus et Ses Amis (Glenn Flanagan). A la carte meal at own cost.
- Wednesday, May 25 from 1 pm to 2 pm at Project Gateway in Pietermaritzburg – annual Prince Imperial lunch-time concert, Allons enfants de la patrie, featuring the Sobantu High School Choir, Sobantu Acapella Group (Isicathamiya), led by Mr Mngadi, hip hop musician, Zweli Mnculwane, fashion designers Nokuthula Ndlovu and Mbali Ndlele, of Exquniqué, and a reading of Sikhumbuzo Khumalo’s (Bodado Productions) Mr Litter/Monsieur Détritus et Ses Amis (Glenn Flanagan). There will be a collection at the door.
- Wednesday, May 25 at 6.30 pm at Pizzology, Victoria Road – Soirée Franco-Italienne to commemorate the Prince Imperial’s father’s (Napoleon III 1808 -1873) participation in the 1831 uprising in the Papal States and his grandfather, Louis (The King of Holland 1778 – 1846), Napoleon Bonaparte’s youngest brother who retired to Italy after the Waterloo debacle. There will also be a reading of Sikhumbuzo Khumalo’s (Bodado Productions) Mr Litter/Monsieur Détritus et Ses Amis (Glenn Flanagan).
- Thursday, May 26 at 10.30 am at Project Gateway – The Old Prison commemorates the Freedom Route (Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité) and its French and St Helena connections through King Dinuzulu and the 25 Zulu chiefs sent to do hard labour on St Helena. Presentations will include one titled The Spirit of King Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo prevails!, which looks at how the Liberation Heritage Route was nurtured on St Helena, a French, Zulu and Boer island of exile in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. There will also be an examination of how Harriet Colenso helped King Dinuzulu in his struggle against imperial forces; a reading of Sikhumbuzo Khumalo’s (Bodado Productions) Mr Litter/Monsieur Détritus et Ses Amis (Glenn Flanagan); and a guided to of The Old Prison, which has had a state of the art upgrade. “We also commemorate our Franco-Indian connection through Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi,” says Glenn. “Our local Gandhi Society has been invited to celebrate this partnership in heritage tourism.”
- Friday, May 27 from 2 pm to 3 pm at the YMCA – The Economics and Entrepreneurship Education Programme (TEEEP), featuring Scottsville Primary (Scottsville) and Kwezi Primary (Sobantu) Schools. There will be a presentation by Alliance Française, Pietermaritzburg and the French Presence in Pietermaritzburg: La Route du Prince Impérial, Louis Napoléon.
- Friday, May 27 at 6 pm for 6.30 pm at the Tatham Art Gallery – IFAS and the Alliance Française, Pietermaritzburg present a public concert to profile ‘Maritzburg musicians and to welcome the Consul General of France, Monsieur Raymond Quereilhac and Mme Quereilhac, Mme Maggie Askari, Xavier Maillart, from Paris, and local dignitaries. The programme will include performances by vocalists, Sikhumbuzo Khumalo, Brian Khanyile, Xolani Cele, saxophonist, Jireh Saxplus Yommy, and pianist, Siya Ngema. Tickets R20 including a welcome glass. You can also book for a three-course dinner (R140) at the Café Tatham after the concert. Please phone or e-mail Rob Boyd to book at Teaon23@hotmail.co.za or 033 342 8327.
- Friday, May 27 to Sunday, June 7 – The French Presence will be at the 164th Royal Agricultural Show.
- Saturday, May 28 at 9.30 am at The Allard House Chapel, Pietermaritzburg – 16th annual requiem mass for the Prince Imperial, said in liaison with the requiem mass in the Imperial Chapel, Biarritz, France. A commemorative ceremony in KwaZulu-Natal’s very first Catholic Church (1852).
- Saturday, May 18 at 12 noon – depart for Dundee along La Route du Prince Impérial, Louis Napoléon.
- Saturday, May 28 at 2.45 pm at Noyi Bazi Clinic, Pomeroy – tea-time pause with the French Augustinian Sisters and a reading of Sikhumbuzo Khumalo’s (Bodado Productions) Mr Litter/Monsieur Détritus et Ses Amis (Glenn Flanagan).
- Saturday, May 28 at 6.30 pm at Chez Nous B&B or at The Royal Country Inn, Dundee – Soirée française, organised by Mme Elisabeth Durham. There will be a presentation on ‘The French Presence in KZN project – Social Cohesion and the Bonapartes’ by Glenn Flanagan, the project leader; a reading of Sikhumbuzo Khumalo’s (Bodado Productions) Mr Litter/Monsieur Détritus et Ses Amis (Glenn Flanagan); and music by Sikhumbuzo Khumalo. Dinner costs R180. Recommended accommodation: Chez Nous B&B – 034 212 1014, email@example.com; Royal Country Inn – 034 2122 147, firstname.lastname@example.org; Backpackers – 034 212 4040, email@example.com. Inquiries: Endumeni Tourism at 034 212 2121 Ext. 2264 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sunday, May 29 at 9.30 am at uQweqwe – visit to Jojosini Primary School and inspection of ANTALIS/PANTEIX rain tanks and library.
- Sunday, May 29 at 10 am –Prince Imperial Monument, uQweqwe and eMaphayipini, Umvunyane area – 20th annual commemorative ceremonies for the 136th anniversary of the death of the Prince Imperial, Louis Napoleon and laying of wreathes kindly sponsored by the Embassy of France in South Africa. Participants include The Consul General of France, Raymond Quereilhac and Madame Quereilhac, Inkosi Mdlalose, Induna Mbatha and Buyi Mtshali. There will also be a performance by Sikhumbuzo Khumalo and community groups.
La Route du Prince Impérial, Louis Napoléon was launched on June 1, 1996, by the, then, chairperson of the Battlefields’ Route Association, Ray Heron, and Jenny Bustin, President of the French Teachers’ Association of KwaZulu-Natal.
The uQweqwe community that lives next to the Prince Imperial monument, has benefited substantially from this cultural tourism research development project since April 1995. From 2011 this community outreach programme was extended to the eMaphayipini community, next to the Prince’s monument, to the Zamimpilo Drop In Centre and Crêche, France, to the Eastwood and Grange communities in Pietermaritzburg.