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Civilization is a great threat to our nation, South Africa. With the Western culture slowly adopting us, we will soon be defined as the adopted country – and it saddens me to see how we have lost who we are.

The indigenous people need to recover their identity. Our culture is fading away and with every generation, a great deal of tradition is lost. Failure to self-recovery will simply mean no future.

South Africa is defined by ethnic and diversity: Eleven official languages, various tribes, blacks, Indians, whites and coloureds all amount to one nation – Rainbow Nation. This is our identification.

On the 24 of September we will be celebrating Heritage Day: a day which was appointed in the place of King Shaka Day; a day that commemorates the famous Zulu King Shaka. He was instrumental in uniting Zulu clans into a cohesive nation.

Heritage Day is also a day that encourages us as South Africans to celebrate culture and diversity of our Rainbow Nation. It is culture and tradition that help us build our nation as we are strongly routed in rich cultural adversity.

Generation is lost in the wilderness of Western culture and lifestyle; meaning in the next century we would have lost our identity. The Rainbow Nation will be meaningless, and that will lead to the restructuring of the definition.

Culture carries a lot of weight; it is an umbrella to factors such as beliefs, rituals, language and tradition, the foundation to value and self-morality, the pillar that hold norms. It is therefore without a doubt that no society can live without it as it is the way of living.

Growing up my parents took me to schools routed by the Western culture; from as early as a year old I was taught to express myself in English, that English was education and it somewhat lead to success.

To this day I can’t express myself in my very own language; through the mist of it all I was fortunate to have realized the importance of culture. I have taken it upon myself to learn the diversity and culture that defines my nation, which is who I am. This is what most parents do as they truly believe is the rightful way to go about it.

The Western culture has introduced civilization as the way to social development, in so doing our culture is modernized. Immediately identification is lost, definition is restructured. Everything our forefathers stood for vanishes by this way we parish.

Nelson Mandela once said: “When our first democratically elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we know that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our nation”.

Culture gives life to every aspect of our daily activities. It examines a manner in which things are done in a society: from events leading to the wedding ceremony – giving birth. Simple things such as paying respect, humanity, discipline, to mention but a few, are all learnt through culture. The Rainbow Nation is what differentiates us.

Let us retain it and go back to the days of indigenous games, drums and tradition; let us pride ourselves with our culture before we loose identity.

What does Heritage Day mean to you?

About The Author


Lerato is a 25-year-old Tshwane University of Technology graduate, who studied in the field of Management Sciences and Marketing. She is currently studying Engineering. She is a born writer, smart, driven, an entrepreneur at heart, a consultant, motivational speaker, daughter, sister and friend.

One Response

  1. Zwelibanzi

    Hi Lerato

    Thank you for this beautifully written article.

    I am also a young South African Zulu man who’s rapidly loosing his culture through global influence and media mind control clusters of programs created for the purpose to steal our identity. I feel we as the youth should take a stand, educate ourselves more about our own history. We are constantly bombarded by foreign ideologies and belief, from education, to social, to religious, to physical. Every corner we turn there is someone demonizing our people or looking down upon our tradition/practices.
    I am so brainwashed that I can’t even put together a proper sentence of Zulu without adding some English in it, its even more challenging now since everything one does revolves around how well one speaks English and how educated one is, same education system created to undermine our culture and praise and glorify theirs.

    Now days an African child will learn English before they even speak in their native tongue, this is alarming stats and something one should see as a threat, we should not have to loose ourselves just so to fit in. I believe the more we learn about the greatness of our existence/people, and the great leaders our beautiful continent spawned in ancient times all the way to the past couple of decades then perhaps we could restore the sense of pride that helped build this world. We are the true architects and we need to take back the throne,right now we’re just watching from the side lines, listening to every order the oppressor is giving and following it to the tee without ever challenging the intention behind it, and that being, they don’t want us to know who we are because I believe they know if we knew we wouldn’t need any of them to show us the way, we would know the way. Not to pass the blame to anyone just expressing my views…

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