In a world marked by persistent conflicts in various communities, South Africa stands as a beacon of hope, where the vital project of reconciliation continues to flourish. President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude for this enduring commitment to reconciliation, emphasizing it as a testament to the fruits of freedom and peace.
President Ramaphosa conveyed this sentiment in his weekly newsletter, where he underscored the critical role of the nation’s creative practitioners in fostering national unity by highlighting the uplifting, inspiring, and enduring aspects of South African society and its history.
The south african president began by sharing his personal appreciation for the television series “Shaka iLembe,” which made its debut locally in June. The series, a grand and ambitious portrayal of the history of King Shaka and the formation of the Zulu kingdom has garnered remarkable success, earning commendation from the President.
Ramaphosa lauded “Shaka iLembe” for its substantial contributions to skills development, job creation, and the promotion of local talent during its six-year production period. He placed it within a broader context, citing it as part of a burgeoning movement within South Africa’s creative industries. This movement aims to craft narratives and histories that authentically represent South Africa’s people, viewing their experiences through their own eyes and perspectives.
The President’s reflections come ahead of Heritage Day, a moment when the nation revels in its rich tapestry of culture, language, and history. He acknowledged the vast strides made from the era of apartheid, when the cultural heritage of South Africa and the lived realities of its people were systematically marginalized.
Ramaphosa took a moment to commend the storytellers, artists, filmmakers, and other creative professionals who are diligently engaged in recounting the stories of South Africans. He stressed that these narratives constitute invaluable cultural legacies for the benefit of future generations, contributing significantly to the ongoing mission of forging national unity, instilling a sense of national pride, and fostering respect for diversity.
While celebrating the success of “Shaka iLembe” and numerous other local productions, the President issued a call to action, urging creative professionals to channel their talents into creating more works of this nature. He noted that South Africa boasts a wealth of untold stories, both from the past and the present, waiting to be shared with the world.
However, Ramaphosa also acknowledged that the full story of South Africa’s peaceful transition to democracy has yet to be comprehensively told. He acknowledged the complexity of this narrative, with its multitude of perspectives and competing viewpoints. It is a story that continues to evolve, serving as a reminder of the nation’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and progress.