Road closed for tradition
Oct 3 2011 8:58AM


Elvis Mashele

People barricaded the road from Acornhoek to Kruger National Park on Friday and brought traffic to a standstill as marchers paraded through the area to Essington Primary School.

But this time the march, under Mnisi Tribal Authority in Manyeleti, near Kruger Park, was for a good purpose.

The community was celebrating its heritage with a gathering of nine chiefs from all corners of Bushbuckridge.

Early in the morning, people gathered at the tribal office before taking to the busy road, with police escorting the parading crowd to the school.

The venue was decorated with traditional food and craft, which aimed to show young people the beauty of indigenous culture.

The three tribes from the region – Mahlangane, Mapulane and Maswati – performed dances.

ANC national spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi told the audience that culture was the backbone of the country.

“The government, especially the municipalities, should support traditional leaders in educating the young generation about their heritage and their culture,” said Mnisi.

He said young people for got their heritage because they didn’t take part in cultural events at school.

Mnisi urged the education department to consider a cultural lesson to keep African cultures alive as more people tended to embrace Western lifestyles.

Local teacher Hlomisa Ndlovu from Essington, who holds classes in dancing, singing and cookery, said the community was encouraged to hold cultural events once a month

“But our challenge is that we still have people destroying our natural trees, which provide us with food,” said Ndlovu.

On behalf of Chief Phillip Mnisi, of Mnisi Tribal Council, Alec Mnisi said the traditional council was celebrating more than 600 years in the province, after departing from Ladysmith, in KwaZulu-Natal.

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