On being a culture vulture

2016-09-29 06:00

IN tourism, cultural heritage is an integral part of a marketing and product mix and our South Coast and environs is no exception.

With September being Heritage Month I attended the Amakhono cultural­ event out towards Nyandzulu, which just inland from Shelley Beach, and what a wonderful experience it was.

The local community, representatives from the traditional leadership, the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, local tourism committees, media and the community were entertained within a festive and welcoming atmosphere amid the lush rolling hills and proud homesteads that overlooked the marquee venue erected on a riverside sports field.

Children of all ages were joyous in their bouncing on jumping castles and the entertainment from a happy clown. In the marquee, adults and youth were impressed with the diverse local musical talent that ranged from the traditional, gospel to modern­.

Being among this welcoming community was humbling and decidedly refreshing. I have been fortunate to have worked in many parts of rural South Africa and other neighbouring nations and never have I had any reason to doubt the sincere welcome one can enjoy in such places. One needs to dispel the myth that rural areas are not welcoming and safe.

In the Nyanadzulu area a cultural and hospitality experience has been packaged which I highly recommend- how better to really absorb the authenticity of our Zulu culture. Last year during Africa Bike Week, up-country bikers stayed in the area and were blown away by the warm hospitality received.

They had decided to something different and at the end of their stay, they rode away with a different, yet better opinion of our informal way of life, and how we host our visitors.

There are a number of cultural and other entertainment events that occur in our district and I recommend that South Africans and our overseas visitors attend them.

This is why our annual Tourism Awards evening last Friday had a cultural dress and heritage theme. Many arrived in very expressive outfits and fun was had all round. This area is rich in talent and diversity and in celebrating it this way we can appreciate the essence of our communities.

A wise person once said: “A picture cannot boast a beautiful story unless it has all the entwined radiances and nuances of colour and texture - humanity­ should do the same.”

A picture cannot boast a beautiful story unless it has all the
entwined radiances and nuances of colour and texture - humanity­ should do the same

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