Writer: Nombulelo ‘Noggz’ Nogwanya
South Africa…the melting pot of vibrant cultures! We are known as a diverse nation and it doesn’t get any more true than that with our more than ten indigenous cultures adding their own special flavour into creating a vibrant and fresh Mzansi. Being South African in these times of change is truly a blessing because we are starting to embrace our differences and appreciate them as what makes us unique as a nation.
There is just so much to be proud of as a Mzansi citizen, which other family in the world can claim to have a ‘gogo’, ‘timer’, ‘tannie’, ‘broer’ and lots of ‘chinas’?
Our ways of doing things must be having other nations look at us strange I bet. While others do Mexican waves and sing non-stop, to us there’s just no ‘diski’ game without some electric ‘gees’, a vuvuzela, ‘makarapa’ and of course screaming “Laduuuuuuuuuma” as loud as we can whenever there’s a goal to celebrate. It is also heartwarming these days to see our various people brought together by a game of soccer, cricket or rugby, it just shows how as a sporting nation we are moving forward and are prepared to rewrite our history. The recent Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day we celebrated, which boasted national soccer and rugby matches, and some home grown entertainment is just an example of how awesome, ‘kif’, ‘ncaa’ and lekker it is to be South African.
Some might think we have a lot of cultures to deal with but to us it is a totally different story. All we have to say is that variety is the spice of life. Our unique cuisine made up of delicacies ranging from ‘smileys’, ‘potjiekos’, bunny chow, mala-mogodu, biltong, koeksisters and of course, the one thing we always have an excuse to have, a braai! What more can one ask for when there is just so much to explore? I can’t help but say “South Africa you ‘biscuit’! Thank you for being my home”!
Every South African must however, have one of those days when being here is just too confusing and they get ‘deermekaar’. Only when you’re driving in our ‘dorpies’ and ‘ekasi’ do you think of ‘robots’, taxis stopping at every bus stop, short left and right but it only means you’ve arrived! For instance, you know you’re in Mzansi when you come across a dog named ‘Bully’ or ‘Sporty’, when you pay using ‘half-tiger’, drink ‘gemmer’ or ‘cold drink’ and spot Chuck Tailors/All Stars hanging on the overhead electric wire. How special is that?
There is so much unique things that one can think of as their proudly South African originals. How far we’ve come as a country has to be top of the list when counting things that make us proud. Our people are the best, we have produced some of the world’s greatest stars, fundis and social activists over the years. Think of Charlize Theron, Miriam Makeba, Christiaan Barnard, Nkosi Johnson, Steve Biko, Mark Shuttleworth and the list goes on without forgetting Vilakazi Street in Soweto, home of two Nobel Peace Prize winners; Arch. Desmond Tutu and the world’s favourite ‘oom’, Nelson Mandela. From our people, languages, achievements and discoveries, South Africa sure is the home of possibilities ‘ekse’. In true Mzansi style, “Chommies and bras, being here is grand, it’s a jol, and by acknowledging how ‘kwaai’ each one of us is, we will forever be tops as a nation”!