“We knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation” Nelson Mandela

Heritage Day plate

Chef, Ayanda Gumbi

031 Shisanyama Chef, Ayanda Gumbi shared three classic recipes for the perfect heritage -day plate, piled with shisanyama, chakalaka and ujeqe (steam bread).


Ingredients…Braai meat, steak and chops spice, barbecue spice, peri-peri sauce, barbecue sauce

Method…Season meat with steak and chops spice and barbecue spice before braaing. Once cooked, coat the meat in a mixture of peri-peri sauce and barbecue sauce for the flavour South Africans know and love.


Ingredients…1 onion, 4 carrots, 1/2 head cabbage, 1 tin baked beans, 2 tbsp wet masala, 2tbsp steak and chops spice, 2tbsp paprika chillies

Method…Fry onions in a pan with paprika, wet masala, steak and chops spice before adding grated carrot and cabbage. Mix the ingredients well. Wait five minutes before adding a tin of baked beans and chilli to taste.

Ujeqe (steam bread)

Ingredients…2 cups flour, 2 tsp instant yeast, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar

Method…Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and add water until a dough forms. Knead until soft. Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes. Bring water to the boil in a large pot. Place the dough in a plastic bag and tie a knot at the top of the bag so that the dough has room to rise, then place it in the water and allow to cook for about 1-2 hours.


The evolution of beadwork

The beads once used to convey traditional Zulu love letters now form part of a distinct Mzansi fashion that is evolving into an everyday must-have that remembers yesterday’s roots.

A bead jewellery vendor

Today, beadwork connects the past and present, bridging the two worlds of rural and urban life. Beaded jewellery firmly places ‘tradition’ within the contemporary. Durban local, Gilly Mchunu said that bead pieces once reserved for special occasions specific to certain cultures are now worn on a daily basis across cultures who are embracing African roots. “Today we see a beautiful fuse of pieces put together and all races welcoming the fact that they too have African roots,” said Mchunu.

Sabrina Maingard sports an Isimondeni necklace

Making a business out of beads, Sam Gumbi said that beaded jewellery reminds her of her roots. “It’s important to remember your heritage, the collar necklace is more traditional, but  many pieces are more about fashion today,” said Gumbi. In fact, the fashion trend extends beyond the addition of beads to a modern outfit as designers get inspired by beads. Fashion and style motivator, Sabrina Maingaurd aka Fashion Nanny said that beads are threading their way through fashion. “From what I see, in the fashion underground, I have noticed an amalgamation of beads with current fashion- there is always a statement piece that’s got some sort of bead work,” said Maingard.

The beauty of beads is reaching beyond South African culture to inspire designers globally said Maingard. “Beading is inspiring a lot of cultures overseas as well and I am proud when I see South African influences portrayed in international collections because it shows that we are acknowledged within the fashion palette,” said Maingard.

There’s a very fine line between celebration and appropriation as beads make their mark in the realm of fashion and the way beadwork is used makes all the difference.  “When there are elements from another culture used in a respectful way, it’s usually accepted, but if it’s done in a derogatory way or if something is blatantly copied, then its problematic,” said Maingard.

Beads are bringing the traditions of old to the forefront of contemporary fashion with some opting to add a beaded piece to a modern outfit and some drawing inspiration for their designs. Beaded jewellery celebrates heritage, fashion and unity as  fashionistas from all walks honour Zulu heritage in style.


Public invited to postmodern Ndebele exhibition

Phansi Museum invites the public to the opening of the Postmodern Ndebele exhibition on Saturday, 16 September, at 500 Esther Robert Road, Glenwood, Durban.

The exhibition illustrates how Ndebele art exploded into greatest postmodern art and architecture of Southern Africa. Ordinary, everyday people become sculptors, huts become palaces, beaded paintings becomes the expression of individuality.  The exhibition will be opened by Professor Franco Frescura and closes on Saturday, 30 September. For more information contact the Director, Sharon Crampton at 031 206 2889 or admin@phansi.com






My heritage is my roots

South Africa is a diverse country with different groups of people and cultures. This month South Africa celebrates Heritage Month by recognising the different aspects of South African cultures and beliefs. Heritage Day is on 24 September, a day that holds much significance to many people. Members of the public shared what their heritage means to them and what significance the special month holds for them. They also shared what they will be doing to commemorate this Heritage Month.

This is what they had to say:

Sachin Sookal (37)

Sachin Sookal (37)

I am Hindu and we are basically known for being rich in culture. Being Hindu teaches one that Hinduism is more than a religion, but it is a way of life. We respect our religion and take our fasting days very seriously. In September we fast and abstain from many things including meat, drinking alcohol and smoking. I think it is important to teach the future generations about importance of culture and respect.

Henry Hadebe (47)

Henry Hadebe (47) 

I am mixed raced but I embrace and respect culture. I always wanted to raise my children to be culturally grounded so that they will understand the importance of knowing their roots and know where they are going.  I believe it is our duty as the older generation to teach the generation after us about our culture. Children these days are clueless about embracing their cultures. Another important aspects is to teach them to learn about preserving nature because that is very vital in our culture.

Manqoba Ntaka (32)

Manqoba Ntaka (32)

I do not believe in culture and I think we should stop focusing on the past and move on. We have seen that culture is not doing any good for us. Our focus now should be on working hard to better our lives. I also do not understand the belief people have on ancestors because if someone dies they are no longer with us. There is no good that they will do for me so why must I praise them.

Daniel Govender (43)

Daniel Govender (43)

Culture is very important for all races in this country but I sometimes feel as if Heritage Month only focuses on the Zulu culture and other cultures are neglected in South Africa. It is up to every parent and guardian to make sure they raise their children with culture and teach them what we do not see in the media because it is important to know and practice our cultures.