The meaning of heritage is to have a thorough know-ledge and understanding of who you are so that you know the expectations the community have of you and for the community to respect you.
This was how Grace Masuku (87) from Rustenburg, the winner of the 2017 Lifetime Achiever Award of the national Golden Shield heritage Awards (Gosha) described heritage.
Held at the Mittah Sepe-repere Convention Centre in Kimberley on Friday (15/09), the ceremony was hosted for the second year in a row in the City of Diamonds.
It is hosted by the National Heritage Council (NHC) in partnership with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
This follows a proposal by the NHC to be home for the awards from now on.
Masuku said through heritage, children must be taught accountability and the importance of being true to who they are, to respect their ancestry and their culture.
This Mokgatla woman from Moruleng in Rustenburg urged that children be taught everything in their own language in an effort to train them to further their purpose.
She proudly made her way to the stage, singing and dancing to the song “Kgabo Mokgatla”.
She emphasised that once a person knows his or her heritage, they will know the spiritual strength in themselves and know how to become a better, caring and community- loving person.
“Stick to your language, stick to your customs, be yourself all the time, and then Africa will come back into our hands,” said the bold elderly woman before leaving the stage, holding her award with pride.
The CEO of the NHC, Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa, highlighted the concern of the current contestation between heritage and modernity, represented by the media and technology.
“These awards are about ourselves.
“The question is how do I become an African in the 21st century,” he added.
According to him, the awards signify that “our heritage is in the rock art, in the sea and in the area of spirituality.”
He also noted that the contestation sees the forces selling modernity as too powerful, to the extent that humans end up cele- brating individuals who do not deserve to be celebra-ted.
The Golden Shield Heritage Awards celebrates excellence, specifically in the heritage sector.
The theme for Gosha is therefore “Celebrating Cultural and Heritage Champions in the 100 years of Oliver Tambo”.
At least six awards were scooped up by the Northern Cape in different categories.