Address by the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Joyce Mashamba at the event of Ku Luma Vukanyi, Muti Wa Vatsonga Open Air Museum, Mopani District
30 Jan 2010Programme director
Members of the Provincial Legislature here present
The Executive Mayor of Mopani District, Councillor Matlou
The Mayor of Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, Councillor Vhaloyi
Mayors present here
Our esteemed traditional leaders and healers
Ladies and gentlemen
All protocol observed
Since time immemorial, mankind has grappled with the idea of defining itself, using the latest technological advances, as well as that which had been handed down to us by our ancestors, from one generation to another. However, it is evident that in today’s hustle and bustle of the digital era, mankind has a strong urge to go back to nature in our daily lives.
Mankind is clearly longing to go back to Mother Nature and draw strength from the bounty of nature – the grass, flowers, trees, animals and the melodious singing of the birds. We are still at one with nature and whenever the opportunity arises, we have to celebrate the fact that we have salvaged what is important to us.
One such example of the bounty of nature is the marula tree. This tree of life brings forth the fruit from which we make the marula beverage, oil, nuts and even the shells for decorations and the indigenous games we play. We all know that the uses of the tree and its fruit and we simply cannot emphasise enough the value of this tree to our neighbours, our children and all the people of this country, who still stand to gain from its products.
While we are now celebrating the marula season through the commercialised Marula Festival, hosted by the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality annually, we maintain that we should go back to basics by ensuring that the traditions and rituals of Ku luma vukanyi live on.
We are therefore urging our esteemed traditional leaders to take up the reins in a continued effort of ensuring that ku luma vukanyi remains a treasured event on Limpopo’s calendar of significant traditional festivals. We implore them to take hands and bring ku luma vukanyi within the reach of all the people of Limpopo, by exploring the possibilities of hosting the event in any other district of the province.
However, we constantly have to remind ourselves that ku luma vukanyi is an integral part of the celebrations of Marula and indeed the start of all the festivities. We are confident that, putting ku luma vukanyi in the hands of our traditional leaders, while giving the necessary support, will be a confirmation of our partnership with these protectors of our heritage. Indeed, they are also the defenders of our heritage, as history has taught us.
I have to once again implore that we however approach the commercial aspect of vukanyi in a very professional way. Let us refrain from brewing a product that was made in haste with only profit in mind. The age-old way of brewing a quality beverage should at all cost be encouraged and enforced in all communities. We once again look up to the capable leadership of our traditional leaders in this regard.
We are of the opinion that, as a department, the coming Marula Festival will again reflect the uniqueness of our province. It will also assist in further enhancing our mandate of social cohesion and nation building.
The season is characterised by its inherent role of allowing people to network, so let us network and thereby build a prosperous and caring society. With a mere 4 months to go to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s eyes remain firmly on South Africa. We are confident that the celebrations of marula will only enhance our image as a destination of choice, which will inherently bring the world closer to our people and our products - this in our endeavour to create sustainable livelihoods, for the people of Limpopo.
Let us therefore protect the heritage of marula and let us promote this natural heritage for years to come.
I thank you!
Source: Limpopo Department of Sport, Arts and Culture
Issued by: Limpopo Sport, Arts and Culture
30 Jan 2010
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