by Luke Erasmus, Proud Past PAHS Pupil, 2019
Who you are is what you are and it starts and ends in how you view yourself as a person, as a citizen and as a force to be reckoned with.
I think that the Afrikaans word for heritage sums it up beautifully: “Erfenis”.
To “erf” means to inherit. This means that we have inherited an identity as a nation thanks to the struggles and fights for freedom by people like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, Helen Suzman and Chris Hani.
They have taught us the values and principles enshrined by the philosophy of “uBuntu”. The rest of the world refers to us as the “Rainbow Nation”. This is so symbolic of us as a nation because a rainbow is a sign of hope and new life.
Our past did not need to define our future as a nation. On Heritage Day we take a moment to be proud of our diversity because this is what makes us as South Africans so unique. Nobody can take your identity away from you without your permission. Who you are is what you are and it starts and ends in how you view yourself as a person, as a citizen and as a force to be reckoned with. Peer pressure works hard to influence us to think the same, be the same and talk the same. My message to you, on Heritage Day and every day is to stand firm. Stay true to yourself. Be proud of your identity.
Never forget the sacrifices that were made to enable us to attend a school such as Port Alfred High and to live today in a free South Africa.
Have a Happy Heritage Day!