It’s Heritage Month! And like every September in South Africa, we celebrate our diversity this time of year. The Rainbow Nation comes together to promote our 11 official languages, a variety of cultures, and colourful faces. The aim is to embrace our differences and nurture South African culture for what it truly is, acknowledging all races and genders.
An important way to help us understand and appreciate each other’s differences is to learn about our past. Understanding where we have come from will help us build a bright future. Let’s look into South Africa’s history to find its roots, but also examine the challenges it faces moving forward. We want you to celebrate too!
Three ways to celebrate this Heritage Month
Visit our Heritage Sites
South Africa has a rich history. There are so many educational places to visit. You’ll learn something about our beautiful country and support our tourism industry that has been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic. Oh, and why don’t you take the opportunity and support a local business and/or artisan while on this historical trip.
Here is a list of some of the best heritage sites to visit in South Africa:
- Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town
- The Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria
- Cradle of Humankind, Maropeng
- Union Buildings, Pretoria
- Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
- The Big Hole, Kimberley
- The Nelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha
- uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, KwaZulu-Natal
- The Anglo-Boer War Museum, Bloemfontein
- District Six Museum, Cape Town
- Vredefort Dome, Free State
- Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
- Pilgrim’s Rest, Mpumalanga
- The Castle of Good Hope, Western Cape
These are only a few of the extraordinary places you can visit. Add these to your bucket list of places to see. These destinations are certainly places that every South African must visit at least once in their lifetime.
Read books about South Africa’s history
Reading about our past can be eye-opening. Educating yourself on the history of our country gives insight and helps us develop a deeper knowledge of how to better the future. Get yourself to Sandton City’s or Benmore Centre’s Exclusive Books and take a deep dive into our history with these titles:
- The World That Made Mandela
- Long Walk to Freedom
- Tomorrow is Another Country
- A History of South Africa
- The Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902
- Country of My Skull
- My Traitor’s Heart
- Portraits of Power
- New Babylon/New Nineveh
- Cape Town: The Making of a City
- Three-Letter Plague
- The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist
Braai with family and friends
What is Heritage Month without a braai? The 24th of September is National Braai Day. The day on which we as South Africans unite around fires, whether they be real coals or gas, to practice the art of braai or shisa nyama. Make this Braai Day a memorable one with some traditional dishes! Get all your ingredients and things you might need at Sandton City’s Checkers Hyper. Out of recipe ideas? Have a look at their extensive list of delicious options here. Share your recipes on social to give others a taste of your culture.
Whether it’s visiting our heritage sites or reading books about the past, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and learning that will inspire patriotism in all South Africans. With so much history in one small country, there are plenty of ways you can spend this month learning about your past and enjoying a braai with friends. Whether you want to explore some local museums or take an online course on SA History, there is something for everyone! So, grab your biltong and boerewors from Benmore Centre’s Biltong Republic and get ready to enjoy Heritage Month 2021 at its fullest potential by celebrating Heritage!