Every time this holiday comes up – I always, and I mean always look at my life and wonder about where I’ve come from. Who am I? What am I about? What’s my culture? Especially being a brown person in Cape Town now.
For those of you that don’t know – I am originally from Zimbabwe. I grew up there and absolutely love where I’ve come from and will forever be a Zimbo. There is no explaining it in plain terms, what I’ve learned from there and what I carry in my soul because of it. Anyway, the point of the matter is that there was a reason why I came to Cape Town when I did.
I grew up getting to understand the Zimbabwean culture part of me that stems from my Father’s side of the family mainly. Yes, my mother was born and raised in Zim as well – but her side of the family actually originates from Cape Town as well. Her mother moved from Gleemore in Athlone, Cape Town to Harare, Zimbabwe and met my grandfather and the rest plods through history and brings me into the world.
So, like I said, I got an amazing understanding of my history in Zimbabwe which makes up a massive part of who I am. But when I was deciding on tertiary studies and destinations – Cape Town seemed like the better fit because I realised there was so much to learn about myself through the culture here. There are things we do as families and when you emerge yourself in a culture – it really helps to understand why certain things are done and that it’s not just your little unit that does it.
I’ve since come to realise why my mixed background blends together into who I am. I absolutely love the Ndebele culture, their way of doing certain things and they resonate with me – and yet at the same time, the Cape Malay culture has completed my understanding of myself and why I love certain types of food, ways and expressions.
What’s been interesting for me though, is that as much I have these two streams leading into who I am now – I’m still my own person – developing my own culture in my home with my team mate, Tim. I remember we discussed what kind of culture we wanted in our home for ourselves, as well as our children. We wanted a home that allowed us to be free to express who we are, to be able to ask questions without judgement, to love Jesus the best way we knew how and to be honourable as much as we can in all we do.
Without writing it down or laying it out in front of our children – this is the heritage we want them to live out. Loving Jesus freely and finding ourselves on our individual journeys of life together. Listening to Him is our priority and we’re hoping that’s the heritage they carry with them.
Happy Heritage Day!