Maropeng Comes Alive With Heritage Day Festivities

Krugersdorp - A stellar line-up of diverse local indigenous dancing groups have begun to mesmerise droves of people gathered to celebrate the Gauteng provincial government's Heritage Day celebrations at Maropeng.

The event is organised under the theme, "Celebrating our treasure, our heritage." Senior citizens arrived dressed in their respective traditional attire, with the majority of youngsters in regular clothes, but waving South African flags.

Catherine Takalani, a Honeydew resident originally from Venda, said celebrating Heritage Day will help remind young people to follow the footsteps of the past generations.

"We are living in a modern world, but it is important that as indigenous people, we remain proud of our cultural and traditional values," she said.

For granny Jeminah Maphike from Orange Farm, the day will help future generations to know their roots.

"It is painful to see our young people who cannot speak their own indigenous languages and know nothing about their culture and traditions. Through this event, this lost generation will learn more about themselves," she said.

Eighteen-year-old Tshepo Maloka from Krugersdorp said government should continue to stage the event since it unites South Africans from all racial and ethnic groups.
"Through this event, we are able to see that there is no culture which is inferior to the other," he said.

Afrikaans pop star Dozi, award-winning Afro-Pop outfit Malaika, Maskandi trio, Izintombi Zika Shwi and Velaphi are among the line-up to entertain thousands of people gathered at Maropeng.

Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Nelisiwe Moerane said the day was about riding the wave of cultural unity that came out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

After addressing the masses, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, is expected to give certificates to volunteers who took part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2009 Confederation Cup.

This is the second batch of certificates of appreciations to be awarded by the Premier. The first batch was awarded at the MTN8 semi-final match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Every year, South Africa celebrates national Heritage Day on September 24 to highlight and promote cultural expressions and diverse heritage, which contribute to nation building.

Government is using Heritage Month to celebrate the successes of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as part of the country's heritage. The theme for this year's celebration is "Celebrating 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup successes: our heritage."

The national main event is being held at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.

Nthambeleni Gabara
- BuaNews