At PnS Heritage Day is not just another public holiday. It has a special significance as we have a real wealth of diversity with the many different cultures in our business. As a business truly rooted in South African and the African continent, Heritage is the foundation of many of our communities and an important source of identity. Many of us come from more ‘blended’ backgrounds where the rituals and traditions our grandparents and parents practised do not feel like us anymore, so they have evolved with us and what grounds us. This Heritage Day, we asked our employees to share their stories of what Heritage means to them. Their stories turned out to be tributes to that the values that underpin our ways that are common across cultures, and what ultimately unite us in our differences.
Meet Seipati Matjilav:
Heritage to me, means exploring my true identity as a young lady. I’m a mix of both Tswana and Tsonga culture. I embrace the ancestors and we sometimes make umoqumboti and cook up a feast to give thanks to the ancestors for the great things they’ve done for us. In the same ceremonies we also give thanks to God and I consider that my tradition.
Most people tend to forget where they come from and focus on modern things, including me, but I want my boys to know how to dance Xibelani and talk Tsonga and know that it’s not wrong being an African. Most of our youth are afraid to use our African names, but I will start using it now.
I am Seipati Keamogetswe Matjila Makhubela and these are my clan names! Makhubela Magwune Hulela N’Wanti Wa Nkome
Meet Lerato Mathopa:
I am born in the Tswana tradition and the most significant thing that I love about my culture is Ubuntu (humility). As per the song of the late Brenda Fassie – “Umuntu Ngumtu Ngabantu – a person is real showing through how they treat other people”.
It has grounded my life in realising that the whole purpose of this thing we call life is truly to love thy neighbour. If people were to practice that in their everyday life it would make life easier and easier to cope. The love between us all will withstand diversity, race and prejudice. And there won’t be obstacles like crime and poverty. “Lerato” translates to love in English, so let us learn to love and respect one another for we have just one life. No retakes!
Meet Simpiwe Jacob:
My name is Simpiwe Jacob, a Xhosa man from East London. I was however born in one of the Stutterheim’s villages, Kubusie, named after the great Kubusie River running through the village.
For me, Heritage is all about celebrating our global cultures, races and beliefs without prejudice, discrimination or xenophobia. It’s about accepting and respecting different origins and religions unconditionally. It is also about sharing knowledge and gaining knowledge between different races.
I’ve started celebrating Heritage early this year in one of the centres I work at for PnS at Retail Park Bonza Bay in East London. The San tribe was there to say NO for putting wild animals in cages and unhealthy Zoo’s. The San people stayed there in a cage like – what’s done to innocent wild animals. I’ve signed a document supporting their cause and took this photo as a remembrance that it does not have to be my culture I support only. We must stand up for what feels right because in the end we are all humans under God’s sight.
Meet Pinky Setlhako:
On this day South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions that in the wider context of a nation belong to all its people!