Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela says languages, heritage and culture must be protected in order to build a better future for all.
“Without telling the stories of our own cultures and languages, people will not be able to sensitize the young generation to preserve the unique legacy of their forefathers,” Mahlalela said at the Nama Culture Festival on Saturday.
He encouraged the Nama community to motivate the younger generation to explore, learn, protect and respect the diverse culture and heritage of not only South Africa but also that of neighbouring Namibia, where the Kharas and Hardap regions are located, and Botswana, where the Kgalagadi region is located.
“These are the regions you as the Nama people have sought to build relationships with. South Africa has a strong political, economic and cultural relationship with both Namibia and Botswana as part of SADC [Southern African Development Community] countries, and we are one people,” Mahlalela said.
Mahlalela emphasized the need for the Nama people to strengthen relations with South Africa’s neighbouring countries.
“It is therefore important to strengthen the relationship between the Nama people of South Africa, the Kharas and Hardap regions of Namibia and the Kgalagadi region of Botswana. It is important to tell our own stories, which have the potential to move our countries forward,” Mahlalela said.
He said the Namakwa District is an area rich with cultural tourism and is home to tourist attractions such as the Kgalagadi Transfontier Park, Namaqualand Flower Route, Richtersveld, Augrabies Falls National Park, The Big Hole in Kimberley, Mine Museum, Namaqua National Park, Goegap Nature Reserve.
South Africa in September celebrated Tourism Month and Heritage Month. The nation was encouraged to celebrate heritage and explore the country’s tourism gems. – SAnews.gov.za