My Heritage, My Pride
South Africa is a diverse country with rich history. It is home to many cultures, and this has earned it the nickname “rainbow nation.” For many, the first thing that comes to mind when they think about South Africa is His Majesty King Shaka Zulu or former President Nelson Mandela.
The rainbow nation is a multilingual country with 11 official languages, how it has managed to cater for all and achieve harmony?
It is well known that a massive price was paid by the heroes and heroines who fought for the united South Africa that we have today. They sacrificed their lives for the new South Africa that does not discriminate in terms of colour, religion, and culture. They saw her as a loving mother to all her kids and hoped that she would manage to raise the upcoming generations with love and share the tales of her young days so that the bloodshed of the past never happens again.
UKZN is one of her living rooms where some of her grandchildren are resting as they learn in the chairs of education and rest on the sofas of a bright future. She has managed to instil the same values in this place because everyone is taught to share, and all are addressed in the same manner and treated equally. The University has embraced an inclusive approach that welcomes students from all cultures and walks of life.
Heritage Month embraces our differences as South Africa’s children.
In affirming our culture as individuals, we find comfort and, our identity and we get to be ourselves. While we come from different backgrounds, we are Africans not because we are Black but because the sun lights our paths. I believe that it is very important to embrace who we are, our cultures, and uniqueness, which opens the door to creativity, fashion, and other beautiful things. To know where we are going in life it is important to acknowledge and embrace who we are and where we come from.
I would also like to make reference to the organisation called Indoni Miss Cultural South Africa, which teaches the importance of knowing one’s background and promotes the dignity of individuals and ethnic groups. Its founder Dr Nomcebo Mthembu is doing wonderful work and I think we need more organisations like this, especially in these times where we are influenced by unrealistic expectations portrayed on social media.
#MyHeritage My Pride.
Mr Thandolwethu Xongo has a BCom degree in Finance and Economics. He is currently pursuing his Honours in Economics. His dissertation is focused on the exchange rate puzzle. Thandolwethu is big on leadership as he has been through the various substructures of the SRC up until being the Westville representative counsel as the Finance Officer. He previously led the UKZN Finance Society as Deputy President, and is currently leading the UKZN Finance Society on its project of renewal and repurposing as its President.
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.