Contested memory : a contribution to the story of the emergence of Methodism in Umlazi.
Dlamini, Mbongeleni Philani.
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The aim of this study was to show how the telling of a story about the emergence of a church can be affected by not giving attention to the history of the area that church is in. In addition to that, this study shows how the process of remembering is subject to human limitations and aspirations. Methodist people in Umlazi had already started telling stories about how their church found itself in that area. Three contesting memories have emerged as this unfolds. Therefore, this paper seeks to study how the contestations came about. This was not done in order to suggest truthfulness or to promote one narrative over another. This study sought to bring up different memories that exist around this topic. In doing this, this study explores the richness of Methodist history in KwaZulu-Natal as well as proposes a way in which congregations can go about collecting and preserving their stories. The conclusion drawn in this study is that when people give the honour of pioneering to a particular group of people, this can result in contestation as well as the elevation of one group over another. This study has not been concerned with pointing out who the true pioneers are but to show that different stories about Methodist emergence exist amongst people of this church in the area of Umlazi.