By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – Dancing and entertainment are some of the ways in which Africans practise spirituality. Their heritage also highlights the joys and virtues of Africanism and beauty of the African child regardless of race.
The Department of Sport, Culture, Arts, Culture and Recreation in Thabo Mofutsanayana in partnership with other departments and local stakeholders, has launched a month-long cultural campaign with the aim of focusing on key issues such as language, lifestyle, food, and clothing.
The three-day event called ‘Menyabuketso’ – The Footprints Traditional Celebration, was held in QwaQwa’s of Maluti-a-Phofung municipality from September 23 to 2.
Thabo Mofutsanyana ‘s Sport, arts, culture and recreation, assistant director Ntsane Mopeli said the campaign is aimed at exploring cultural realization and it exposes African origin.
“Such cultural events are useful in strengthening African businesses that will produce traditional.”
Delivering a brief history on the arrival of the Bakoena ba Mopeli’s in QwaQwa, Map16 executive member Mphafi Mphara regretted that cultural principles and values are forgotten.
“It is high time that we as Africans looked into the behavioural ways that could lead us to uphold our traditions of our ancestors,” said Mphafi.
Meanwhile, local stakeholders have played a key role in ensuring that Heritage Day celebration was a success. SEDA representative Ben Pilusa emphasized the agency’s role in strengthening trading awareness among crafters and heritage fashion designers.
Maluti Crescent Shopping Mall Centre manager Jeffrey Motloung said the mall will provide opportunities for exhibitors to portray their crafts and artworks to give them much needed exposure. “We will work hand in hand with the department of sport, arts, and culture and grafters that produce unique artworks and traditional attire inside the mall.”
Meanwhile, Dikhokho Community Kids group from Mandela Park Section 3 in QwaQwa, which seeks to prevent teenage pregnancy and substance abuse among youth, also joined in the celebrations of Heritage Day.
The group planned a street get-together which began at 5:00 to give these youngsters aged between five and 20 years, an opportunity to spend the day with their loved ones, donning their traditional outfit and embracing their heritage through different traditional genres as well as dances to have fun.
Puseletso Mphala (20) of Phuthaditjhaba was among the participants who performed ‘mokgibo dance’ and she was excited to be part of this year’s celebration. “I do believe the way in which our parents instill culture and tradition, can play an important role in molding our behavior and thinking patterns to always stay away from substance abuse and teenage pregnancy,” she said.
Group founder Mamonnamoholo Mofokeng told The Guard: “Initially we started with only 12 kids from our neighbourhood but today as you can see the numbers have increased. They are so excited about today’s event as they have been practising for weeks.”
Mofokeng said with every household having a braai in front of their house on this day and inviting everyone to come and join in the fun, she decided to do it differently.
“It’s so amazing to take their minds off things because they come from disadvantaged backgrounds; the area is a nyaope hotspot. They could use some cheering up and this celebration will just do that,” she said.