This day 24 September was proclaimed a national holiday during Nelson Mandela term of his presidency to ensure the nation is built, not only in government but also between families and friends.
Each year people across the nation get together, do family or friends braai, eat together, drink to celebrate what makes us all uniquely South Africans (Culture).
Culture is important to us because it defines our evolutionary identity most importantly. It helps us to understand our ancestral values and gives us the very meaning of life, link us with our ancestors, which is valuable and should not be lost and shapes our lives in becoming who we are today. The traditional bond just stays forever!
The is a culture I’d like to use as an example, the Zulu culture. History shows us that they respected this day, to them is a day which commemorates the legendary King Shaka Zulu who played a crucial role in uniting different Zulu clans into one cohesive Zulu nation in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Each year, thousands of people would gather at King Shaka’s grave to pay tribute to his and to honour his memory.
It is a day we get to wear our traditional attire, lucky if we see different dances, braai with friends and families and enjoy our traditional meals. So be part of the national heritage by joining and understand why culture is important to us and why we should celebrate it.
It is important that we appreciate this day and celebrate it well. We all have cultures, let’s all embrace it!
Mamelodi Community members together with Tshwane government and initiation school owners around Mamelodi had a meeting on Saturday at Mamelodi East Extension 6, Africa Church. All the stakeholders were called including the councilor, priests, COPTA members, CONTRALESA and the SAPS member Mr Chivukadi from Mamelodi East police station. The meeting was concerning some of the owners of initiation schools who pays druggies R50 for bringing more kids to the schools. It is believed that is more than one school but not specified was recently paying druggies to take kids without their parent’s permission to the schools. It is said that most of the kids were taken from the streets playing with friends. The owners who attended the meeting said they will no longer take kids who are not taken in by their parent’s and from now on parents have to sign while bring their kids to school as well as giving them the doctor’s conformation letter to confirm that the child can go to the initiation school. “Those who were in the meeting, they said they will not take any child without their parent signatures. Even if the child is without a parent and decide to give the principal their parent’s phone numbers the principal will take the initiative and visit their homes for confirmation”, said Dina Sibanyoni, Team Leader ward 40 and one of the parent whose child is currently at the school. It is confirmed that any school that take children without their parents concern they would be charged and could end up sentenced to 12 years in prison. Ward 40 Team leader said most of the parents complains were that when children return home from from these schools, they are becoming disrespectful, get involved into drugs, suffer from health issues and they believe that initiation schools are loosing dignity this days, it is not more about culture but rather business. Some kids don’t even return they die in the schools. More investigations still in process. It is still going to be discussed when and where the next meeting will take place. The Team is currently looking for a bigger venue where everyone in Mamelodi is expected or invited to attend the meeting.
Chief Phala was newly appointed as a traditional leader this morning at Mamelodi West C2. Chief’s from different areas and king Swazi were there to support the new chief. Rev Kotu and his wife were also invited to match out the new chief. The event was not only about the king and chiefs appointing the new leader but to commemorate those who lost their lives during the student uprising in 1976. The purpose of the event was also to bring the youth together and educate them about the right way of following tradition. They also had candle memorial for those who have died of HIV & AIDS. “The purpose of the event is Mr Phala, the host made us come together as chiefs and being introduced as a traditional leader and also to commemorate those who have died on this day June 16”, said the spokesperson of King KK Sekhukhune, Nelson Phakwago. The spokesperson said he is very disappointing on how the youth of today celebrate this day. He said that young people need to change the way they celebrate this day. “Maybe we should blame parents for not teaching their children history and the purpose of June 16”, said King Sekhukhune’s spokesperson. Chief Phala gave a speech during the event, educating people about his culture. “We are celebrating culture, bringing the youth together and lead them to the right of way”, said Chief Phala. He also thanked Mrs Phetla for a firm welcome.
At the beginning of the event
At the beginning of the event a Tswana dance group, Magogashedi (a group of young people) from Mamelodi west D1 welcomed the chiefs when they arrived.
Chiefs including Maritz Cape Kooi (Kooi san chief), Van Rooyen Griqua (Royal council), chief Mahlangu Ndzundza Mabhoko, National house of traditional leaders Londolozi and Nelson Phakwago (King Sekhukhune spokesperson).
Followed by Mamelodi Saint John Apostolic church from Mamelodi East, section 14 band formally matched out chief Phala. They participated throughout the event by playing the religious hyms in between the programs.
Later that day they had about 18 men called SK Sekhukhune performing their Sepedi dance.
ater that day they had about 18 men called SK Sekhukhune performing their Sepedi dance.
During the event
A team of two ladies from Multisectoral Response to HIV & AIDS in Tshwane their theme of the day being Candle Light Memorial, were given a platform to motivate the youth and adults including the king and chiefs about HIV & AIDS.
During their speech everyone including the kind and chiefs was asked to hold a candle and have a moment of silence to commemorate those who died of Aids and those who are still living with HIV & AIDS. After the moment of silence everyone was asked to snuff the candles and not blow it so to give them an idea of what people living with Aids feel. “You feel pain for only two seconds when you snuff the candle, can you imagine how much pain people who live with Aids gets everyday? but yet we are still calling them names, gossip about them not knowing how they’ve got it and how much pain they are going through”, said Dina Sibanyoni .
Almost end of the event
Everyone who have attended the event were given food and they were thanked for being part of the event after a long day from when the event started until it finishes.