Culture and connection

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We’re celebrating #HERitage with POND’S by showcasing the diverse and beautiful women of South Africa, and telling their stories. From our culture to traditions, memories and beliefs, it’s our uniquely South African stories and experiences that make us beautiful. BONA Zulu translator,  Nokwe Dlamini, tells us her proudly South African story of a deep desire to connect cultures through language.

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Ngiyintombi yomZulu. I grew up in kwaHlabisa village, North of KwaZulu-Natal, where I learnt everything I know about my culture. There are many beautiful things that I love about my heritage. We hold different ceremonies to celebrate different stages in life, such as umthombiso, which is performed to welcome girls into womanhood.

 

I love my heritage because it teaches you discipline. While growing up, I wanted my parents to do umkhuliso for me. This is a ceremony that parents do for their daughters who behave well and don’t fall pregnant until after the age of 21. They did!

Zulu women are known for respect and beauty. I practise all traditions and rituals within my culture. We usually gather as a family and slaughter a cow, make traditional beer, sing and dance.

In Zulu, we say izandla ziyagezana because working as a team makes everything easier. Whenever women go to the river to fetch water or wash their clothes, they always go in groups because it is important to help one another. My culture has taught me to value myself, respect other people and stay humble.

Growing up in a village where our elders didn’t go to school, and many were not afforded the opportunity of education, I decided to be a translator so I could help those who do not understand English. I feel that this decision, to empower people with access to different languages, as well as helping to protect my own language, culture and heritage, has shaped my life. Today, being a Zulu translator for the biggest magazine in South Africa allows me the opportunity to realise that dream: to connect heritage and mother-tongue language with the ability to understand English, and connect across cultures.

“In Zulu, we say izandla ziyagezana because working as a team makes everything easier.”

What’s beautiful about your heritage? Share your story with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the Hashtag: #HERitage #Ponds #HeritageDay