“When our first democratically elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.” Nelson Mandela said in an address marking Heritage Day in 1996. I don’t know what he meant but because it was the great Nelson Mandela, we will run with it. For those who don’t know Heritage Day is a PUBLIC HOLIDAY in South Africa where black people wear their traditional clothes and post them on the internet. Another definition for Heritage Day could be: it’s the only day on the calendar where your white boss would allow you to dress beautifully. So now that we all understand what Heritage Day is let me tell you why this is the weirdest day in my life.
24 September 2017 I got attacked at a tavern. Well, I might have started it but because I was the one who got a beating I’ll blame the holiday. Because if it wasn’t a holiday, the tavern wouldn’t be packed at that time, then the altercation wouldn’t have happened, which means I’d still have 32 teeth, which means this article wouldn’t exist, which means instead of complaining about a holiday online I’d probably be doing the #JerusalemaChallenge just like the president asked me to. Okay, let me start making sense, I don’t hate Heritage Day. I just hate that I was wearing a leopard print Zulu T-Shirt, which is as scary as The Joker’s makeup but the way I got beaten up you’d swear I was wearing pyjamas, those guys were supposed to be scared of me because of my attire but they slapped me like it was corporal punishment.
I realized something about my culture, that people of my tribe are the least scariest. I’m Swati. The only time where Swati people are scary is when they scare each other. Imagine if the taxi industry was filled with Swatis, taxi drivers and queue Marshalls wouldn’t be as scary. Even the bosses. Imagine the recent hike in taxi prices, would you honestly listen if the announcement was made by a Swati person? No. You would even have the balls to tell them “ngeke sitwe ngani shem”. Because we Swatis are not that scary. That’s why even the soapies never have a Swati villain. Can you imagine on Isibaya, Mpiyakhe Zungu gets threatening letter from an unknown person. Zungu doesn’t panic, why? Because Zungu never panics. Then on Friday (because that’s just how they roll on soapies) they reveal the new bad guy. Then you find it’s a gentleman by the name Mnyakeni Fakudze. Imagine.
So, beyond all this nonsensical writing you just read I wish you a very happy Heritage Day. Happy national braai day to the boets and happy Shaka Zulu day to o bafo.