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24 September 2021 | Story André Damons | Photo Charl Devenish
Heritage Day
Rejoyce Ncube is representing the Zulu culture (left), Itumeleng Mopasi is representing the Xhosas, while Itumeleng Mopasi also represents the Zulu culture during Thursday’s feasting.

Staff members of the Faculty of Health Sciences working in the Muller Potgieter Building celebrated Heritage Day on Thursday (23 September 2021) by feasting together on different traditional meals and enjoying their diverse cultural backgrounds.

For Ms Rejoyce Ncube, an Assistant Officer in Undergraduate Medical Programme Management, Heritage Day is an important reminder of who we are as South Africans. She has been wearing different cultural attire since the start of Heritage Month.

“I love wearing different attires. It is so unique and colourful.  It is also important because, when you look at the young people, they do not always know the difference between the cultures.

“As much as I am Zulu, I wear attires from different cultures. I need Tsonga and Ndebele attire.  It is just to make people aware that we are all South African and also to teach the young people that they have a history behind who they are. I love the uniqueness, the colours, and the designs,” says Ncube.

Heritage Day important to teach young people about different cultures in South Africa
According to her, Heritage Day is important to teach young people about the different cultures in South Africa and the history behind them. Ncube says she also tries to cook a traditional African dish for her family every Sunday.

Ms Joyce Phindela, an Assistant Officer in the School of Clinical Medicine, says Heritage Day helps her to remember who she is and where she comes from. Says Joyce: “I am Xhosa, but mostly grew up in the Sotho and Coloured community and I went to an all-Afrikaans school. This is what is meant by being South African and what makes us unique.”

“Heritage Day gives me an opportunity to represent who I am and to teach other people about my culture. I also get to learn from other people and their cultures, because on a normal day we do not learn from each other. I can teach this to my kids one day.”

Some of the traditional treats shared included dombolo, samp and beans, droëwors, koeksisters, and melktert.

Dr Lynette van der Merwe, Undergraduate Medical Programme Director in the School of Clinical Medicine, indicated that the staff working in the Muller Potgieter Building consider themselves part of a diverse, multicultural, multilingual family who try to make one another’s lives enjoyable by being friendly, courteous, supportive, and kind.  Sharing and learning from one another and realising that we all have unique stories to tell about our varied backgrounds bring us closer together and help us grow in unity.

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