The beginning of September was a dark time in our country. The horrific xenophobic attacks and gender-based violence across the country made it tough to be proudly South African, especially since September is Heritage Month, a month in which South Africans celebrate the heritage of the multiple cultures that make up the diverse population of our country. The month culminates on 24 September, a public holiday which South Africans generally spend celebrating according to what signifies heritage to them.
Flow prides itself on being a diverse company with numerous cultures celebrated by our Flowstars. We asked some of our Flowstars what Heritage Day means to them and how they will be celebrating.
Pakamani Nombila, from Flow’s Cape Town office, says, “Heritage Day to me is a significant reminder that we must embrace our cultures and traditions as much as we possibly can. It is a day where I reflect and reconnect with my own roots, touching base with my childhood mostly, through some of my favourite food dishes growing up. Dressing up in my traditional Xhosa attire and simply embracing where I come from. It’s also about recognising other people’s traditions, respecting them trying to understand and learn from them.”
Content producer, Selinah Seipei, says “For me, Heritage Day is a celebration of the beautiful diversity we have as a country and a reminder – not that I need it – of who I am and how much that means to me because my personality, my values and my life have all been shaped by where I come from. The colourful and vibrant cultures we have should be treasured and celebrated instead of being erased – this is why I got so angry when some people wanted to make it ‘Braai Day’. I think we should celebrate it by taking a moment to learn about the local cultures we don’t know about.”
Kerry Robertson, another Johannesburg-based content producer, had some thoughtful words about the significance of the day for her. “I don’t really do much to actively celebrate Heritage Day, but I am cognisant of it. Growing up and now working in a city that is such a melting pot of cultures is continuously challenging and fascinating. I really like hearing other languages and wish I was able to pick them up as naturally as some other people. I think living in a place with so many different kinds of people grows tolerance – as well as innovation. South Africans are much friendlier, cleverer and more resilient than a lot of other cultures that I’ve experienced, even though we might not think we are. I hope this Heritage Day we can remember this,”
Flowstars’ plans for Heritage Day include some delicious food and traditional attire.
PR account director Mohau Ravhudzulo tells us about the meaning behind her traditional dress. “My outfit is a modernised shweshwe worn by the Basotho people. The shweshwe dress is usually worn with stockings and court shoes. The Basotho people do not wear any beads. We wear a blanket called seana-marena and a straw hat called modianyewe.”
Back in Cape Town, Pakamani will be cooking up a storm with his favourite aunt. “She makes the best samp and tripe – I’m really looking forward to that. My aunt has sewn an outfit for me, I haven’t seen the final product though. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be rocking the traditional shirt with some beads as accessories.”
“I’ll be watching some rugby and trying out some South African recipes,” says paid social media specialist Muchaneta Madavo.
However you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful Heritage Day.