THE Presidency urged all South Africans to take pride in the country’s cultural institutions and play an active role in affirming, promoting and preserving them.
President Jacob Zuma will lead Heritage Day celebrations on Sunday, September 24, at the main national event in Siyabuswa, in Mpumalanga.
This year’s Heritage Day celebrations will be held under the theme, “The Year of OR Tambo: Celebrating Our Liberation Heritage”, and the day is set aside to celebrate South Africa’s cultural diversity and history.
In a statement from the Presidency on Friday, Zuma said: “Celebrating our Liberation Heritage contributes to the revival of the political and sociocultural consciousness across the country on the liberation struggle narrative. We hope that it will also invoke nationwide discussions on issues relating to decolonisation and identity, democracy and radical socioeconomic transformation.”
The statement added Heritage Day further encompassed the country’s ecosystems, wildlife and unique mountains. “This is the core of the country’s natural heritage which, when combined with the cultural heritage, makes South Africa a world in one country.”
The Presidency added the day also aimed to recognise the role of cultural and heritage institutions, while the South African constitution also guaranteed the right to cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society.
The Presidency urged all South Africans to take pride in the country’s cultural institutions and play an active role in affirming, promoting and preserving them.
Meanwhile, according to well renown writer and author Fred Khumalo, he questions -rightfully so- what is aptly coined ‘national braai day?
He goes on to lament “there are many people who unquestioningly tell me they are preparing for national braai day. When I ask them, ever casually, what the day means, they hesitate, before they say, “ag, it’s just another holiday”.
Khumalo, also pointed out that ‘our conquerors will do anything to undermine us to make us forget our history, reports Sydney Morweng-news editor.
“This is something worth thinking about as you sit back and enjoy this coming holiday. Fifty years from now, our children will be wondering: how the hell did our parents dream up this braai day, what does it mean?
When we can’t answer the question, the former conquerors will laugh, saying: “You see, these people have no history!”
For the uninitiated Heritage Day used to be called Shaka Day during the Apartheid era.
As Samora Machel aptly observed: “For the nation to live, a tribe must die.”
Heritage celebrations will be held throughout the country as was evident in the city center of Johannesburg, were young and old were seen resplendent in their traditional garb and fever pitched isicathamiya songs blistering from taxis along the busy Noord taxi rank.