Article by Nelisiwe Walaza
It all started when KYP Director Thulani Madondo announced to the KYP members that the organisation would be celebrating Heritage Day. At first, it was a shock filled with excitement to all members because we have never celebrated Heritage Day together as a group.
KYP has diverse members who belong in different cultural groups, so members divided themselves into their cultural groups. Xhosas joined together, Zulus united, Sothos became one, Tswanas came together and, Tsongas were one stone. All in all we had 5 different cultural groups. Next, we appointed leaders in each cultural group to organize the discussions in each group.
Word of mouth strategy was used to invite people to come and celebrate this day with KYP. All members invited their families, friends, and neighbours. Imagine the number of people; this day was bound to be a success.
On Friday, the 23rd of September, all groups prepared special activities to showcase to the community. We had to rehearse, plan, and organize for everything to operate smoothly. Lots of hard work had to be done.
At last, on Saturday, the 24th of September, it was Heritage Day for all South Africans. The weather was not on our side, which was a bit disappointing, but it did not pull down our spirits. All members had to be at the KYP centre 9am, sharp. Despite the weather, every member came dressed in their cultural clothing, and all groups were looking so colourful and beautiful. Cultural food was cooked by the KYP kitchen staff for each and every person who attended the event; there was pap, chicken, masonja, you name it!
At 10am the show started with Thulani holding the microphone. Families, friends and the whole community started coming in numbers, and the KYP centre was full of people. All cultural groups showcased what they prepared for the community. Their presentations were based on expressing their cultures to the people. The Xhosas sang, the Zulus danced, the Tsongas danced to their music, and so did the Tswanas and Sothos. It was wonderful to see the excitement in people’s eyes, and to experience our first time celebrating this day as an entire organisation. Neither the community nor the members wanted the day to end. Despite our different cultural backgrounds, on the 24th of September, Heritage Day, we were a one nation.
Heritage Day was a huge success for KYP as an organisation, and the event made an impact on the whole Kliptown community. It made people be proud of where they come from and the culture they belong to. It reminded the community that not only are we diverse, different, and unique in our own ways, we are also members of one nation. We all are South Africans!