on 19 Jul 2017 9:35 PM
  • southafrica
  • heritageday

Heritage day (24 September, Public Holiday), also known as National Braai Day as the result of a pointed 2005 media campaign, was not originally intended to be an official South African public holiday. But when the Inkatha Freedom Party, a political party with a large Zulu membership, refused to sign the Public Holiday’s Bill that was being presented to the Parliament of South Africa because it omitted the inclusion of Shaka Day, a day that commemorated the famous Zulu King Shaka, a concession was made.

 

Quite aptly, just as King Shaka was instrumental in uniting Zulu clans into a cohesive nation, Heritage Day (appointed in place of King Shaka Day) encourages South Africans to  come together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and the diversity of our rainbow nation.

 

Former South African President Nelson Mandela concisely explained it when he said the following in a Heritage Day speech: "When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation”.