South Africans who attended the Umkhosi Welembe commemoration- formerly known as King Shaka Day- in KwaDukuza North of Durban, say while their heritage is close to their heart; though they battle daily struggles including high unemployment and the rising cost of living.
Young people attending the event say they are proud of their culture and shared what Heritage Day means to them.
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One of the youngsters says, “Heritage day means a lot because it shows that young maidens can still be proud of their roots as well in this day and age they can still respect their culture. I’m very grateful because after COVID now I can go to the Reed Dance and attend huge events like this without being scared of what if I get COVID. To me, heritage means being proud of our culture and knowing our roots where we come from.”
AmaZulu King, Misuzulu KaZwelithini acknowledged their concerns while addressing the crowd.
Some of the youth lamented that they are sitting at home with degrees.
Their elders have appealed to government to create jobs.
“Heritage Day is a very important day for me, I even came here with my grandchildren – I want them to learn and be proud about our Zulu culture as well as being South Africans. I want them to have pride of their culture, on the other side as parents we are concerned that our children are unemployed some of them have completed tertiary education but still they are not working. We appeal to government to open up job opportunities and also upskill the youth,” says one concerned grandparent.