Ms Bhuda also serves on the committee that identifies indigenous knowledge systems that are about to become extinct, and advises on the documentation of that knowledge. The appointment had a criterion that focused on people who were doing great work in intangible heritage from all South African provinces, and Ms Bhuda, a culture activist, was one of those identified.
"I am very grateful for this opportunity. I would like to believe that this appointment has come at the right time as I have contributed quite a lot in the systems field, and the department is investing in me as a young professional with great potential."
Part of the work that the committees does is to establish a criterion that guides which knowledge is worth documenting urgently. We work with elders and young people to ensure that the knowledge is well captured. The committee also creates platforms such as workshops, interactive networks for promoting inter-generational learning between elders and young people on indigenous knowledge.
“Since its inception of the committees, we have discussed the indigenous knowledge systems and intangible heritage and the progress made. We have identified appropriate methods to document the indigenous knowledge and identified the initial knowledge that needs to be documented," she says.
Ms Bhuda is passionate about the decolonization of education, promotion of indigenous languages, indigenous knowledge preservation, protection, management and dissemination. She explains that the department of Sport, Arts and Culture has a project that identifies living human treasures and profiles them, and the subcommittee that she sits on oversees that the correct protocols and guidelines have been followed during the selection process, then report the findings to the rest of the panel.
"When it comes to languages, the panel will seek advice from PanSalb which directly deals with the current 11 official languages and those becoming extinct. There are a few committees within government that are available to work with in certain aspects that link to our work.”
Ms Bhuda adds: "The relationship with indigenous communities is important for the department because they are knowledge holders and should form a part of the decision making when it comes to the protection and development of their knowledge. The panel includes knowledge holders, academics, and traditional leaders.
Through the panel, the department wants to establish a good relationship with the indigenous communities and work closely in preserving and promoting indigenous knowledge systems."
Ms Bhuda, a PhD student of indigenous Knowledge Systems is also passionate about sharing African culture and heritage has penned a children's book, Kwekwezi’s Cultural Mural Art (English), which was then translated into isiNdebele as Umgwalo Wobukghwari baka Kwekwezi.
"I believe that I am a role model to young people who look up to me and who always have questions about careers in African studies and why IKS is relevant in the 21st century. So many young people expect only adults to be in such fields and show interest. It is therefore important that I become a good example by working hard and providing tangible results."
@Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures supplied.