This year we celebrated our women in the Responsibility Area with an unbelievable event that the Maties Sport Division organised at Ashanti in Paarl on 16 August 2023 with the beautiful theme of South African Culture.
I see culture as social — how we are as people with others. Culture refers to our social customs, habits, language, food, and even the clothes we wear, shaping our expectations of each other’s conduct. We are blessed to live in such a culturally diverse country. But for too long these cultures were kept apart as if they were a danger to each other, instead of recognising that they are most creative when in contact.
The Afrikaans language, for example, emerged from the cultural exchange between European settlers, Khoi and San locals, and Muslim slaves mostly from Indonesia, Malaysia, and elsewhere. The language itself was first written in the Mosques of Cape Town. It is really “a made-in-South Africa language”, and the product of cultural exchange.
How fantastic it was to share our culture with each other at Women’s Day 2023, to show how we dress and taste the food from South African cultures under one roof. Zulu dancers entertained us, our faces were painted and we had the privilege to listen to Saray Khumalo, the first woman from Africa to summit Mount Everest. Her words: “The reality is, we are all born and we are all going to die. The question is, have you lived?” made us all think how important it is to live a full life.
Thank you to all the colleagues who sent us so much news this month, this newsletter is packed with stories. Enjoy reading it.