The South Africa of the 21st century is privileged to have inherited the emancipation we enjoy; which has come through much heartache, blood, sweat and tears. Hundreds of unsung heroes and heroines’ have given their freedom and lives so that we can revel in liberty of a democratic society. Our nation is patent in its colorful and all-inclusive approach. We are celebrated for our denigration of racism, religious intolerance and cultural apathy. We have proven to the world over that we are a people rich ethnic and traditional fiber.
However, more than all of these superficial matters, South Africa boasts of a heritage of Strong leaders who set aside individual prejudices for the well-being and benefit of the people they served. As we celebrate our heritage we pay homage to people like the late Tata Madiba, Nkhosi Albert Luthi and Mr Amichand Rajbansi, who for the joy that was set before them endured the injustices of an unfair political regime. The fought feverishly so that our people would have opportunities they sometimes only dreamed of. We remember them with great fondness and salute them for raising good leaders to follow in their footsteps.
We also honor people like former president F W de Klerk who saw the inequalities and wrong doings of a nauseating political society and called for the end of apartheid. Who knew that he would face strong opposition and antagonism yet pursued the matter still.
We celebrate the achievement of four Nobel Peace Prize Laureate’s; one of whom is emeritus arch-bishop Desmond Tutu. We appreciate the role he played the TRC and other reconciliation initiatives.
South Africa can be proud that we have the first female Indian to lead a political party in its history; in the person of Mrs Shameen Thakur Rajbansi. A woman with tenacious faith and resilience; who has faced enormous challenges both politically and socially yet emerges triumphantly time after time. Rajbansi advocates the plight of many marginalized communities who otherwise would be forgotten and despised. Her role in this country; rich in heritage, will be remembered for many generations to come.
So, as we celebrate another heritage day, Let us also celebrate those who have contributed to the heritage we have. Without them our nation would be the poorer.