Tag Archive for: Heritage Day


Ubuntu is a uniquely African concept that exists in communities all over the continent in various forms. The word ‘’Ubuntu’’ itself, however, has South African roots in Nguni languages such as Xhosa and Zulu, and means ‘’humanity’’. To South Africans, the philosophy of Ubuntu is particularly special as it was endorsed and promoted by the late leader of our country, Nelson Mandela, during his presidency. In the book, Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage, Mandela defined Ubuntu as, “the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others”.


This definition, however, cannot nearly encapsulate all the significance and power that this word holds. There is a tendency to trivialise the philosophy of Ubuntu to simply refer to being generous to our neighbours, when in actuality, it is the very foundation of any successful society. It is our values that shape us into authentic human beings and our inherent desire to be a part of a larger and more significant relational, communal, societal, environmental, and spiritual world. Another renowned South African politician, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, described Ubuntu as meaning “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours.”


We practice Ubuntu nearly every day of our lives in ways that we may not know. When we show respect to elders, when we help our community, a neighbour, or a friend, or when we place the needs of others above our own in an act of selflessness, we are undeniably carrying out the spirit of Ubuntu.


South Africa sees a change of seasons during the month of September, as we transition from winter to spring. On the 24th of September, in the sunny weather, South Africans all over the country beam brightly as they celebrate National Heritage Day with friends, family, and delicious food. This year, instead of the usual braai, Relocation Africa decided to celebrate National Heritage Day by commemorating the concept that is deeply embedded in our heritage and culture; the philosophy of Ubuntu.


We took the opportunity to coordinate a clothing drive for an organisation that we would like to give recognition to. Sisters Incorporated is based in the same community as our head office, and for this reason, we reached out to other members of the community for help, thereby making the clothing drive a communal effort instead of a mere company project. We handed out flyers, spoke to neighbouring businesses, and encouraged residents to get involved in the effort. Words cannot describe the joyous feeling of hearing the doorbell ring and seeing the kind person on the other side of the gate standing with their donations in hand, or the warm feeling of recognising the good that exists in the world.


Love is not lost, generosity is not lost, humility and kindness are not lost. It lives here in Africa.


Eventually, the clothing drive evolved as we saw people bring in all kinds of gently used items of value. The staff in our head office began bringing their donations in slowly but surely, and members outside of our company overwhelmed us with the number of boxes of clothes, crockery, cutlery, crafts, toys, trinkets, ornaments, and so much more, that were being brought in. It was heartwarming to see the energy that everyone was investing into doing something for a greater cause.


The day of the drop-off finally arrived and the women in the office found themselves sharing the duties of packing the goods into boxes. Good actions do good things for the soul, and this is evident in the way that the ladies in the office were passing around ceramic cups and glass trinkets to be wrapped securely in newspaper and packed neatly into boxes, folding clothes into piles, and pointing out the fun crafts that would all be added to the donations for Sisters Incorporated.


The scene encapsulated unity, helpfulness, and companionship. These are all the principles that Sisters Incorporated represent and instill in the women that they provide care for.


About Sisters Incorporated

Sisters Incorporated offers aid to abused women and children irrespective of their race, ethnicity, age, or class. They work hard at providing trauma counselling for these women and upskilling them in aim to transform them into active members of the public. Part of their mission statement is ‘’We provide care – free of judgement, criticism, and bias – and aspire to empower those who pass through our doors, to become better equipped for their role in society’’.


Upon arriving at their gates, the ladies at Sisters Incorporated greeted us with warm embraces and welcomed us inside their office. We sat and chatted for so long that we lost track of time, with topics of conversation ranging from details of the amazing work that they do at bettering the wellbeing of the women in the community, to how our values align with one another’s, and the different ways in which any individual can help out.


We encourage our readers to visit Sisters Incorporated’s website, and support them in any way possible. Their staff is eager to arrange a meeting with any potential donors, educate and inform you on what they do, or even embrace you and offer assistance if you ever find yourself needing help.


They offer holistic care, meaning that their objective is to help the individual heal in every way that they may need healing. This means that they have an in-house social worker to help the women and children overcome the trauma and abuse of their past. With a staff of over fourteen members, and an equally sized group of volunteers, their personnel include two house mothers who rotate shifts in order to have someone on duty 24/7, in the event that any woman may need immediate assistance. They also employ a cook who prepares warm meals for the ladies and their children every day, three times a day. More importantly, they have an amazing workforce that is dedicated to teaching the ladies practical skills that they can make use of in future as a means to generate an income for themselves, such as sowing, beading, and crafts.


Sisters Incorporated would not be able to do the extraordinary work that they do alone. Each person plays a vital role in the success of Sisters Incorporated and their ability to provide aid to those in need. Every member of their staff, every volunteer, every woman that walks through the gates seeking assistance, and every donor, contributes to the mechanism that is Sisters Incorporated. They are a true embodiment of the philosophy of Ubuntu. In their story, and even in efforts shown by the community and beyond, lies every factor that Nelson Mandela associated with the meaning of Ubuntu: Helpfulness, sharing, respect, care, trust, and unselfishness.


According to the South African philosophy, a person who behaves in these ways has Ubuntu, and therefore they are a full person.


Ubuntu is the natural propensity of the human to establish connections and build upon them. In South Africa, it is symbolic of our ability to unite with one another in striving towards a common good, and it encourages us toward selfless acts. Ubuntu is the word for humanity in the native Nguni languages of South Africa, and humanity is a quality we owe to each other.




Learn more about the inspirational work being done at Sisters Incorporated or contact their unsung heroes to make a donation by visiting their website.




Read more on the importance of charity and selflessness in a similar blog, or visit our Knowledge Centre to access our exclusive blogs, newsposts, and educational webinars.




As the 24th of September marked another Heritage Day in South Africa – a day to remember our history and celebrate our cultures – we decided to use one of our Wacky Wednesday check-ins to bring items and stories to our head office, so that our team members could learn about each other’s heritage.

Our Head Office team has come to expect the unexpected during our Wacky Wednesday Check-ins and last week was no different. Keeping Heritage Day in mind, Joy, from our HR Department set the scene for a celebration and sharing of the diverse culture in our team.

We were all encouraged to participate in a “show and tell” story explaining the significance of the particular item we brought to the table or what we decided to wear. Have a look at our “show and tell” photos and see if you can guess which cultures are being represented on our team.




For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

The historic cast iron fountain which was handed over to the community of Rondebosch in Cape Town on September 25, 1891, has been restored and unveiled on Thursday, as South Africa celebrates Heritage Day.

In a statement released on Thursday, Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien said the fountain – a horse and dog watering trough with a lamp post – was donated by surveyor and railway pioneer George Pigot-Moodie to the community.

He said Pigot-Moodie sat on the Cape Legislature from 1889 to 1890 and was a resident at Wesbrooke, now known as Genandendal (which is also an official residence of the country’s president) until his passing in 1891, the same year he donated the foundation.

Badroodien said the original fountain is a provincial heritage site in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act25 of 1999) and the fountain was badly damaged during a bad motor vehicle accident in 2015.

“The City of Cape Town recovered the remnants and held it in safe keeping. It was the City’s intention to repair and to restore the fountain to its former glory” Badroodien said.

“However, the fountain was so badly damaged, that it could not be repaired. It had previously been repaired and cobbled together over the many years that it stood in the heart of Rondebosch. As a result, the fountain which was destroyed, was not identical to the fountain which was unveiled 127 years ago.”

He said the new fountain was donated by the Simon van der Stel Foundation and Heritage Castings to the City and is as close to the specifications of the original fountain with minor details which differ.

The fountain is in its original colours and details are exact as when it reached the Cape from Scotland.

“I am so excited to see this iconic landmark back to its former state. The fountain has great historical value and was cherished by the Rondebosch residents. The replication and accession process took longer than we would have hoped as there were legal requirements that the City had to adhere to,” Badroodien said at the unveiling.

He said the City was indebted to the donors and an electricity connection will be done at a later stage so the fountain lights can be switched on.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Heritage Day is a South African public holiday, honouring the culture and diversity of beliefs and traditions of all South Africans.

Celebrated each year on the 24th of September, the day serves as a reminder that the nation belongs to all its people.
In the KwaZulu-Natal province, the 24th of September was formerly known as Shaka Day, in commemoration of the legendary Zulu king. When the proposed Public Holidays Bill, before the New South African Parliament, omitted Shaka Day, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a South African political party with a large Zulu membership, objected to the bill. A compromise was reached when it was decided that a day would be created where all South Africans could observe and celebrate their diverse cultural heritage.

In an address marking Heritage Day in 1996, former President Nelson Mandela stated: “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”.
South Africa is an extremely diverse nation, comprising many vastly different cultural groups, and has eleven official languages (one of the highest ranking countries in the world for this). It certainly isn’t known as the Rainbow Nation for nothing. Despite the many differences amongst its citizens, South Africa has a strong sense of unity around longstanding traditions.

Throughout the country, Heritage Day is often celebrated by braaing (barbecuing), to the extent that a media campaign in 2005 sought to rebrand the holiday as National Braai Day, in recognition of the strong South African tradition. At the end of 2007, the name was changed to Braai4Heritage, and the initiative received the endorsement of South Africa’s National Heritage Council (NHC).

Relocation Africa team member, Pumza, in traditional Xhosa dress.

The above image shows traditional Xhosa dress. The Xhosa’s are a proud people and their cultural heritage is close to their hearts. Traditionally, the women’s clothing and ornaments show the stages of their lives. A certain headdress is worn by a newly married girl; a different style by one who has given birth to her first child, and so on. Women’s clothing include dresses in bright colours like orange, green, red and white with braiding and beads over a skirt. The headdress is a colourful braided turban.

The Xhosa people are known for their beautiful beadwork and it forms an important part of women’s traditional clothing. They wear long necklaces of beads, with collars of multi-coloured beads around the neck, as well as beaded arm and ankle bracelets. Other beaded items include ithumbu (the elaborate bead necklace worn by Xhosa women when they perform a traditional dance or iqakabod), iqoqo (a decorative, tasselled and beaded band worn around the lower back), the vulwakabini (a beaded top worn over the upper body and breasts) and isidlokolo (an animal skin hat decorated with large beads and used by healers in traditional dance or when working with patients).

Heritage Day provides a great opportunity for South Africans to put politics and differences of opinions aside, and come together to celebrate the country’s history together.

We, at Relocation Africa, wish all South Africans a very happy Heritage Day!