“Yize sithi bamele izizwe zabo, kodwa okukhulu kakhulu bamele iSouth Africa”, said Dr Nomcebo Mthembu at the Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg in a ceremony presenting the Kings and Queens representing 12 cultural groups of South Africa; Pedi, Zulu, Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Xhosa, Thembu, Mpondo, Khoi San, Swati, Venda and Ndebele nations. “The blankets represent a symbol of them representing South Africa, and they should at all times protect the flag, and the image of South Africa as part of a global Africa,” she said.
Part of the program for the day was dedicated to women – imbokodo – and one woman in particular that was honoured is Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma with a special lecture delivered about her life, and when all roads lead to the coveted ceremony of the Miss Cultural SA, on the 10th of October, she will be presented with an award, a symbolic guide of what the indoni’s need to emulate.
The night was one to present indoni’s and chaperones from different cultures to contend for the title currently held by Nomkhosi Nzuza from the Zulu nation.
Indoni is strategical positioned as a youth empowerment movement, with the aim of deepening our roots, enriching the lives of the youth with educational programmes and broadcasts. Indoni is dedicated at strengthening our cultural identity, promoting social cohesion (encouraging a sense of community), celebrating African values, promoting expression of self through our culture and valuing ancestral wisdom. Indoni builds intercultural awareness, deepens shared roots and develops tomorrow’s leaders, actively seeding a stronger generation.
Indoni is for the re-incarnation of a sense of Africanism, African heritage. And this they do for all African children, men and women the world over – to sustain and preserve the African wealth and legacy, whilst developing and enhancing Africans arts. On the day, one could not doubt the enhancing of the arts from splendid clothing and regalia; poetry that words alone cannot translate nor dissect in this writing; music; and beautiful people. Only a picture can narrate the story of a picture of beautiful people, I’ll leave it there, for if I were to try describe it I’d fall short and quickly run out of words as fast as I ran out of breath on the day. To this day, when I close my eyelids, I see reflections of the beauty that was in abundance on the day – the beauty of a nation as colourful and diverse as ours, crowned by having all of them gathered for a common cause; the celebration of that which is African.
“The word “Indoni” is a Nguni name for a specific kind of a berry fruit (black in colour) that grows by or within a dam or river that gets very sweet when fully ripe. It is a kind of a berry through which the African people in the Southern hemisphere defined the beauty of their young women. Across the South African hemisphere vocabulary “Indoni yamanzi (the berry of the waters)” means “a beautiful young woman with respect, pride and dignity”,” as mentioned by Indoni.
An intensive research over the years formulated a framework of topics aimed at addressing social ills faced by young people in South Africa today. Indoni SA was officially launched in June 2011. It was formed to fill the gap of addressing social issues with a strategic plan of action through various programmes
Indoni is a grassroots movement. It is built on the hopes, desires, energy and determination of real people, in real communities, achieving real results. The culture schools, as Dr Nomcebo Mthembu emphasized, are the mainstay of the program, as she feels that is pivotal in building the nation, and there is a role to be played by other people and co-operations in aiding the success of the culture schools which have transformed the lives of many and promises to transform the lives of many more to come.
The important aspect of it all, is deeds and a message that transcends the localities of time, able to go back and touch the greats of yester years with the proper embrace of their ways, hugging and squeezing their wisdom, yet with the same stroke holding the hand of those to come, leading them through a path prepared and preserved specially for them – an eternal story of unconditional love from mzukwana to mzukulwana. One people connected by the same roots, a beautiful bunch bearing lovely fruits, with strong seeds – Indoni.
The golden tread that formed the patterns of the ways of our fore bearers is being rewoven in these times to reflect the greatness in our genes.
Indoni: My Heritage, My Pride.
By Themba Ka Mhlanga