A society’s heritage, amongst others, provides clues to the past and how our society has evolved. It helps us to examine our history and traditions and enables us develop an awareness about ourselves and to understand and explain who we are.
It is critical to note that heritage should be the subject of active public reﬂection, debate, and discussion. What is worth saving? What can we, or should we, forget? What memories can we learn from? Indeed, active public discussion about our heritage is a valuable facet of public life in a multicultural and multiracial country such as ours.
It is against this background that on the 23 September 2022, SMU joined the rest of South Africa Heritage Day celebrations. This was indeed a colorful day characterized by the sharing of food from diﬀerent cultures, songs, dance and an array of colorful clothing from across the African continent and beyond. The SMU students, representing the diﬀerent residences were in their element, showing oﬀ their skills on the dance ﬂoor.
The celebrations were underscored by the speech presented by the guest speaker, Dr Lwazi Lushaba; an academic from the University of Cape Town, who spoke on the topic, Heritage, culture and health.
Amongst other things, he indicated that “we might be physically healthy and culturally sick” because cultural health is as important as bodily health. Lushaba further speciﬁed that “culture is the be all of heritage because heritage expresses itself in culture”. He concluded by saying that “A living culture, to be able to reproduce itself, it needs a language”.
This was indeed a speech relevant to what SMU is all about!