Let's unite, promote and transform our African heritage for future sustainable development.
We are all deeply rooted within the characteristics that are passed down through the years, from one generation to the next. If we think about it, our heritage is actually a deceptively simple idea.
Some say it’s made up of the practices and traditions that are passed on from parents to their children, but not only that -it’s also passed on from our families, our communities and places where we grew up.
To give you an example, your heritage might include things like a family professional history; religion or cultural traditions, and also includes a part of our national consciousness as South Africans regardless of the color of your skin.
As Africans our heritage is unique, precious, it helps define our cultural identity, and lies at the heart of our spiritual well-being which drives the power to build our nation. In fact, our heritage has a healing quality attached to it to believe it or not, “it celebrates our achievements, it contributes to redressing some of our past inequities.” It deepens our understanding of society and encourages us to empathise with the experiences of others around us, whether in the workplace or public. Our heritage is created through a growing awareness of the presence and survival of past legacies.
When people talk about South African heritage, they might be referring to anything from famous stretches of coastlines in KZN, the African plains and animals in our national parks to Shweshwe fabric, Bunny Chows, Braai Vleis, Pap and off course things like the great Gatsby.
There are different kinds of heritage, for example, a country’s natural heritage would be it’s beautiful environment and natural resources, like minerals or water. Then you could have areas that are very special where animals or plants are in danger of extinction like the St. Lucia Wetlands and uKhahlamba Drakensberg Parks in KZN which are said to be World Heritage Sites. They considered to be so unique that they are internationally respected and protected.
Our heritage is, therefore people, something that’s quite personal and changes from person to person.
That being said, our vision should be to “build a nation proud of its African heritage, not fight one another. We as a united people must set out to transform, protect and promote our African heritage for future sustainable development. If we do this we can all truly build our country and be proud of our people by at least appreciating our successes and our differences whatever they might be.
Tell us, what is your heritage and how will you celebrate it this month, whether it be food, lifestyle or any other things that you feel make you as an African unique, proud of your own heritage and your culture.
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