September is Heritage Month and in celebrating the country’s diverse culture and colourful heritage, the National Heritage Council (NHC) in partnership with the Sol Plaatje Municipality and the Northern Cape Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, hosted the annual Golden Shield Heritage Awards at the Mitah Seperepere Convention Centre on 14 September. The event was opened with a poem by poet and performing artist Lebo Mashile who also hosted the event alongside local comedian Mark Coetsee. The evening saw 18 selected finalists from across the spectrum of South Africa being honoured and celebrated for making their mark in their communities and contributing towards the preservation and promotion of their heritage.Some of the highlights on the evening were the announcement of this year’s Lifetime Achiever Award, which was bestowed upon Dr. Mongane Wally Serote in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the heritage profession. The National Treasure Award was awarded to jazz legend Jonas Gwangwa and Xitsonga cultural heritage icon and musician Dr Thomas Chauke. The Kimberley Hole was awarded the Preferred Heritage Destination Award, a tourism landmark that is known across the world, and it is recognised for its preservation of the history of diamond mining and its educational diamond world centre. Local artist Phillip Matlhoko won the Heritage Corporate Citizen Award. Acknowledgement awards were bestowed to the following local organisations and individuals: Amandla Dance Teatro ZA received an award in the cultural dance category. The dance group was formed in 2010 in Germany by South African Bisi Bangiwe ka Jobela and Brazilian Guilherme Duarte. The musical studio is based in Galeshewe and focuses on drama, poetry, vocal lessons and dance music.) Moses Mahumapelo of Fusion Gardens received an award for African cuisine. Fusion Garden offers food, exceptional music and superior service, all merged to create a relaxed nostalgic ambience. The menu fuses both traditional and cosmopolitan dishes, like tribe pizza and mopani worms which is a favourite amongst tourists.) Vuyo Mafafo was awarded for visual arts. He is a graphic designer, song writer and a poet. Mafafo is also a cultural entrepreneur and social constructor that loves working with the youth where he can teach them the importance of preserving their heritage and culture. ) Nosipho Mtabeni was awarded for arts and poetry. She is the mother founder of Mtabeni-Afrikan Queen Arts Production, an entity that seeks to be a bridge between past, present and future through viable use, protection and preservation of arts, culture and heritage initiatives.) Glynnis-Lynn Damoense won the award in the curator or project manager at the Big Hole Museum for her role in developing and organising new collections to expand and improve the cultural and historical exhibition displays at the museum.) Daniel ‘Bra Skola Mabe Sekgoro was acknowledged with the Heritage Steward Award by the Sol Plaatje Council and the Heritage Award as a true living legend in his capacity as a heritage steward. He has been instrumental in sharing and by so doing preserving the legacy of the life of the Pan Africanist Congress founder, the late Robert Sobukwe. ) Jerry William Tume was recognised for the preservation of indigenous plants and knowledge by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture for his role as an environmentalist, herbalist, indigenous-knowledge bearer and member of the Heritage Practitioners. Throughout his career Tume has focused on healing a number of illnesses, including diabetes and high blood pressure. He is able to assist with lucky charms and aphrodisiacs. He has also taught future healers of the uses of traditional medicine so that the practice is not lost. Mosadi wamo Afrika was acknowledged for promoting African attire. Since its inception, the Setswana inspired afro centric fabric house has now developed into a high demand professional fashion home of choice that caters for all clients.) Jacques Carl van Wyk was acknowledged with the cultural music icon award. The feisty young singer was recognised for his music that is full of wise words that gently chide the foibles of his neighbours.) Alina Thandiwe Mfulo was acknowledged with an award for her commitment to persons with disabilities. Mfulo is living with a disability and has been involved in representing disabled people in South Africa and internationally.Attendees were entertained with a performance by an all women Khoi dance group, the Bailombo Dance Group, and Coetsee tickled the crowd with a comedy routine. The awards have been hosted for the past three years, and this year’s was the last one to be hosted.