TV review – Kulcha Kwest: At the culture crossroads

2014-09-21 15:00

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Kulcha Kwest


Sundays, 5.30pm

We are at a crossroads when it comes to culture. The dominance of the West on our way of doing things seems to have rendered our beliefs, perceptions and traditional values inadequate and inferior.

Enter Kulcha Kwest, a show aimed at those teenagers who find themselves at this kind of cultural crossroads. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by so-called reality shows that leave the viewer more scandalised or confused than informed.

Now in its second season, this docureality show, hosted by Siyabonga Mdlalose, facilitates a journey of self-discovery for those seeking help with reconnecting with their own traditions.

Kulcha Kwest is the ultimate celebration of our culture and heritage.

Power and ideology filtered through media such as television have led us to question what is ours and whether we should embrace what is being peddled by the media. This has resulted in a cultural identity crisis.

We live in a country blessed with more than a dozen official languages and one that offers a potpourri of diversity. Having a show like Kulcha Kwest can only be good for us. Sadly, I doubt the show will create as much social-media buzz as other shows, probably because we have been told that our TV offerings and our culture is not good enough.

Last week saw a young man, Mohau Malope, who, while growing up at boarding school, missed out on learning about his Pedi roots and traditions. Frustrated by his peers’ lack of understanding and inability to help, Malope finds himself unable to relate to his tradition and seeks the aid of Kulcha Kwest to reconnect with his culture.

Malope’s parents give him their blessing and, despite some reservations, Malope is put in contact with a cultural elder and consultant, Ngaka Tsiane. Tsiane educates him on the ways of the Pedi people, and recounts their history and the cultural practices that Malope has to go through on his journey towards becoming a man.

Though not all of his requests could be fulfilled, Malope got to connect with his roots, and walked away with a wealth of knowledge and lessons about his traditions.

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