TEACHERS and pupils from Sisekelo High School celebrated Heritage Day by hosting different activities associated with the day. The programme directors of the day were Grade 10 pupils Sabatha Bhengu and Nonzuzo Ngubane, who were dressed so smartly in their cultural attire. School teacher BB Zungu opened by thanking the pupils for dressing up in their cultural wear so beautifully, which shows that it is really a Heritage Day. He reminded pupils that, as the Zulu nation, they need to embrace who they are. He spoke of the virgins who took part in the reed dance festival at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Enyokeni Zulu Royal Palace at Nongoma, introduced by King Shaka to promote respect for women and virginity before marriage. According to Zulu tradition, only virgins are permitted to take part in the reed dance to ensure that the ceremony is pure. He spoke about Heritage Day (September 24) when South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their beliefs and traditions in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people. In closing, he mentioned that the Zulu tribe is one of the most widely-known tribes in Africa, mainly because of the vital part that it played in the continent’s history, and that the Zulu tribe represents the largest population of ethnic groups in SA.The programme continued as Boniwe Ngcamu, a Grade 8 pupil, recited a poem, followed by Misokwakwe Biyela in Grade 9 who sang praises of uShaka kaSenzangakhona. Up next were the Grade 9 dancers, before Alwande Shezi chanted her Shezi clan praises, which teach the clan their history, culture and heritage. Grade 12 pupils sang a wedding song before the Grade 8 boys performed a Maskandi dance, which told tales of society about one’s view of life and personal experiences. The word “Maskandi” is derived from the Afrikaans word “Musikant”, meaning musician, and can be traced back to the emergence of the South African migrant labour system. Next, the Grade 8 girls entertained with a Zulu dance and the Grade 10s had a great performance of isicathamiya, led by Sbonelo Zondi. Afterwards, the pupils enjoyed a traditional meal. — Supplied.