Second-hand cultural objects not only possess a very definite biography but also have a multi-layered history. The nature of this history and the cultural artefact’s evolving identity is determined, firstly, by its journey from first into second exchange and beyond, and, secondly, by the institutions, including second-hand or charity shops, individuals or groups who came to own it. Artefacts as well as places where they are exchanged, such as second-hand shops, can each provide a valuable lens to investigate the nature, social function, locational politics and exchange journey of these places and artefacts as a marker of memory.
Bud Mbelle (Credit: Wits University)
Horatio Isaiah Budlwana (Bud) Mbelle was the first Organising Secretary of the South African Coloured Rugby Board and the brother-in-law of Sol Plaatje. Mbelle was born in Burgersdorp, Cape Colony on 24 June 1870. He grew up in the Herschel district in the Eastern Cape and was educated at the Wesleyan Methodist Primary School and the Healdtown Institution, near Fort Beaufort from 1886 to 1888, where he qualified as a teacher.
On 20 July 1963, South Africa played Australia for the first time in a rugby league test. This history-making test was the fifth game of the Australia – New Zealand Tour of the Rugby League Springboks, the national team of Rugby League South Africa.
The tour results up to that point indicated that the visitors had won exactly half of the games played. While the Springboks, under the captaincy of former rugby union test player Dawie Ackerman, had won comfortably against Northern Division (20-10) and Monaro (41-2), it was tough going against Sydney (5-49) and Queensland (16-32).
On 10 July 1963, the first South African rugby league national team, the Rugby League Springboks, played against Monaro at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, Australia. This game, the second of their thirteen match tour through Australia and New Zealand, was the first attempt towards regular international tours.
Today, 44 years ago, the New Zealand All Blacks played the Proteas, the national rugby team of the South African Rugby Football Federation, at Cape Town’s Goodwood Show Grounds. This game took place three weeks after the Soweto Uprising, at a time that mass events in Black communities were still banned. In addition, this was only the third time that the Proteas, the representative team of a non-white rugby body, were set to play against overseas opposition. Having played England (1972), British Lions (1974), this occasion marked the first time for any black representative team to play the famous New Zealand All Blacks.