Different colors, one people: South Africa marks Heritage Day

A celebration of culture and diversity in Africa’s second largest economy.

The Director-General of South Africa’s Arts and Culture Department, Vusi Mkhize emphasized the value of the constitution as the country marked Heritage Day on Sunday.

“All of us are now free. We’re celebrating the same constitution. So if you look away, you look away to what, other than looking at the future in which we are all united in a democratic and non-racial South Africa.”

He also told local press that it’s important to celebrate all men and women who contributed to South Africa’s freedom.

One of those men was Oliver Reginald Tambo, who fought to end apartheid and served as president of the African National Congress from 1967 to 1991.

This year’s Heritage Day theme focuses on the revolutionary; “The Year of OR Tambo: Celebrating Our Liberation Heritage”

Good morning South Africa. Today we celebrate #HeritageDay under the theme, “The Year of OR Tambo: Celebrating Our Liberation Heritage” pic.twitter.com/I6JoDcCNln— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) September 24, 2017

Tambo once said, we have a vision of South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in conditions of peace and prosperity.

Millions of South Africans lived up to this statement as they celebrated the day that over looks the question of race or beliefs.

In a country that has seen the worst of apartheid, today, Blacks, Whites and Colored are sharing the spirit of belonging to one nation.

“Our heritage tells a story of who we are and our ancestral lineage. It builds our identity.” NomzamoMbatha #HeritageDay pic.twitter.com/O0mCfMvFh1— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (NathiMthethwaSA) September 23, 2017

#HeritageDay I am proudly Ndebele ??? pic.twitter.com/1bExagsUK6— IG: HER MAJESTY (@Prudence_Dumako) September 22, 2017

The Rainbow Nation ???
There’s no other country with a heritage more beautiful, diverse & lively like South Africa’s.#HeritageDay #Taung pic.twitter.com/XJLqsMchh7— Karabo Mokgoko ? (@Karabo_Mokgoko) September 24, 2017

Until 1994, South Africa was led by a white minority that strictly segregated race in the nation.

The system was abolished when Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the country.

Current figures show that Black Africans make 80.2 percent of the 56 million people, Coloreds 8.8, Whites 8.4 and Asians 2.5 percent.

Zulu is the largest tribe in South Africa, and Xhosa, Sotho and Tswana follow.

Also know as Braai Day, it was coined in 1995 when parliament and the Zulu led Inkatha Freedom Party agreed to name Shaka Day, Heritage Day and make it a public holiday.

It has been celebrated every September 24 since then.

Photo: My Spice