South Africa is made up of a kaleidoscopic mash-up of cultures and heritage. This has become the signature of our country – our rainbow nation. We asked a few of the Fetola crew to tell us what heritage means to them and why it’s an important part of their lives. This is what they had to say:
I’m from the Northern Cape and when my family moved to Cape Town in the early 90s it was SUCH a culture shock. Brown people from the Northern Cape and brown people from the Western Cape are SO different. As a girl in primary school, I was not at all prepared. I hated being the ‘other’.
Decades later I’m deeply grateful for my history and a different point of view. When I started exploring my Nama heritage over the past few years, it was a wonderful eye opener, and sometimes a bit jarring (especially when someone tries to deny it). As a people we’ve moved so far away from our ancestors. The language. The rituals. The stories. The traditions. And it’s precious. Whenever I discover a little piece of information, I treat it like gold and share it with others who are open to it.”
– Leanne Feris (Media Manager)
I was born in a little farm town deep in the Kalahari bushveld, called Vryburg. Our school motto was “Carpe Diem”, which means “Gryp die dag, gryp die geleentheid”. In English, it means “Seize the day. Seize the opportunity”. This was a true inspiration to live by growing up as a farm girl as I have always been driven to explore, learn, and to grow. It was important to stretch myself outside of the safe, comfortable life of a farm town – BUT I am always connected and grounded by knowing where I come from.
I have always had a diverse group of friends – local and international. Being amongst a diverse group of people influences and nurtures my soul!”
– Elize Hattingh (Project Lead)
“Like most South Africans I come from a background where different cultures intersect. I was raised in a coloured community, having both Khoisan and Sesotho forefathers. My heritage is a continuum and is defined by positive choices and a determination to shine a light on people in my community.”
– Grant Prince (Business Coordinator)
“For me, heritage has been an integral part of my life. Growing up the Eastern Cape, community was the essence of life. If there was a wedding, celebration or any kind of festivity it was a given that everyone would attend – no invitations were ever required.
Colour, culture, and food were part of life and when the women dressed up in their Umbhaco (traditional Xhosa clothing) – magic happened.
My heritage is based on community. I was raised, educated, and loved by my community.”
– Amandla Mali (SME Support Manager)
Heritage can mean so many different things, but what is important is that we’re open to learn what we can about the different cultures in South Africa. Much like our beloved country, the Fetola office is a mix of colourful, rich heritage and we learn something new every day.
Tell us about your heritage and what it means to you by Tweeting us at @FETOLA1.