Vryheid

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Vryheid
Dutch Reformed Church on church plain.
Dutch Reformed Church on church plain.
Vryheid is located in South Africa
Vryheid
Vryheid
 Vryheid shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 27°46′01″S 30°48′00″E / 27.76694°S 30.80000°E / -27.76694; 30.80000Coordinates: 27°46′01″S 30°48′00″E / 27.76694°S 30.80000°E / -27.76694; 30.80000
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
District Zululand
Municipality Abaqulusi
Established 1884[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 48.71 km2 (18.81 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 47,365
 • Density 970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 84.5%
 • Coloured 1.7%
 • Indian/Asian 1.3%
 • White 12.1%
 • Other 0.3%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Zulu 79.8%
 • Afrikaans 10.2%
 • English 6.2%
 • Other 3.7%
Postal code (street) 3100
PO box 3100
Area code 034

Vryheid is a coal mining and cattle ranching town in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Vryheid is Afrikaans for "freedom" or "liberty".

History[edit]

After British and Boer mercenaries had helped Dinuzulu defeat his rival Usibepu for succession of the Zulu throne, land and farming rights were granted to them along the banks of the Mfolozi River. On August 5, 1884 the mercenaries formed the Nieuwe Republiek (New Republic) with Vryheid as its capital. It was later incorporated into the South African Republic, but at the end of the Second Boer War the town and its surrounding area was absorbed into Natal. Vryheid is located along the Transnet Coaline.

Education[edit]

In 2007 Inkamana High School and Vryheid Comprehensive Secondary School were amongst several schools recognised as "historic schools". Funding of six million rand a year was earmarked for these two and Adams College, Ohlange High School and Inanda Seminary to make them academies focussing on Maths, Science and Technology.[3]

Other schools are Hoërskool Vryheid, which uses both Afrikaans and English as the medium of instruction and Hoërskool Pionier which uses just Afrikaans as medium of instruction.

Sport[edit]

Kilian Academy, a martial arts academy instructing in the arts of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Kickboxing, is situated in Vryheid.

Vryheid Wrestling Academy, is one of the top wrestling clubs in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Hanami Gi-Challenge[edit]

2014 Hanami Gi-Challenge Poster

The Hanami Gi-Challenge (commonly known as The Challenge) is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) tournament in Africa. The Hanami Gi-Challenges are hosted annually by the Hanami Martial Arts, with the first Challenge hosted in 2014 at the Indoor Speedball Club Vryheid in South Africa. In 2015, it will be held once again in Vryheid, South Africa.

Religion[edit]

The Inkamana Abbey, a Roman Catholic Benedictine abbey is located in the town.

Heritage Sites[edit]

The Dutch Reform Church in Vryheid, better known as Die Moeder Gemeente (Afrikaans for the Mother Congregation), has been added to the list of 12 Gorgeous Churches and Cathedrals in Africa, by AFK Insider.[4]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Louis Botha (27 September 1862 – 27 August 1919), Boer War general and first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa representing the district of Vryheid whilst in parliament.
  • Colleen De Reuck (born 13 April 1964), South African long-distance runner was born in Vryheid.
  • Cindy Elizabeth Eksteen (born 21 November 1977), South Africa cricketer was born in Vryheid.
  • Christian du Plessis (2 July 1944), famous opera singer was born in Vryheid.
  • Joe Pietersen (born 18 May 1984), South African rugby player was born in Vryheid.
  • Albert William Lee, Anglican Bishop of Zululand lived in Vryheid from 1928-1935.
  • Mouritz Botha (born 29 January 1982), South African rugby player was born in Vryheid.
  • Thomas (Franz Xavier) Spreiter (1865 – 1944), a German missionary lived in Vryheid.
  • Bob Holness (1928 – 2012), British radio and television presenter was born in Vryheid.
  • Thys Lourens (born 1943), South African rugby player was born in Vryheid.
  • Keegan Longueira (born 1991), South African cyclist and current holder of the Guinness World Record fastest man ever to cross the continent on Bicycle from Cairo to Cape Town.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Vryheid". Census 2011. 
  3. ^ Ngcobo, Gabisile (10 Oct 2012). "Plea to maintain ‘historic’ schools in SA". The Witness. 
  4. ^ "12 Gorgeous Churches And Cathedrals In Africa". AFK Insider. December 5, 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-24. 
  5. ^ "Guinness World Record". 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 

Media related to Vryheid at Wikimedia Commons

View of Church Street in Vryheid's Commercial District.