THE Department of Sport, and Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC), Lukhanji municipality and the Chris Hani District municipality marked the build-up to district Heritage Day celebrations with the Bathembu traditional council in Whittlesea last Thursday.
DSRAC district director Peter Mbebe said Heritage Day was approved by government in 1994 to remind people about the importance of knowing their origins.
The core message of the event was to encourage people to return to their culture and customs, including language and dress code.
Guest speaker Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe of the
AmaRharhabe kingdom gave some historical background about the origins of the Bathembu tribe.
“Today is an important day, it revives our heritage as a country full of nations in South Africa.”
Ncamashe said a big part of bringing back the heritage was through name changes.
“We need to return to the original names of our heritage, because we are writing our history. They are a symbol of preserving the nation. It will play an important role for the next generation to know the background of their culture.”
He encouraged pupils to be proud of their mother tongue. “To speak your language does not make you less intellectual. Value education, adopt unity and respect in schools while refraining from drugs and alcohol consumption.”
Enoch Mgijima Municipality mayor Lindiwe Gunuza-Nkwetsha said the newly elected municipal councilors would win the trust of the people.
Communities should use existing resources to create employment in order to eliminate poverty.
“We are teaching people not to keep livestock too long but to consider their price. If a person loses R1 000 they call the police, but if three cows are lost nobody does anything. If we understand our heritage we will identify what is important.”