The 24th of September, otherwise known as National Braai Day, is Heritage Day, and I feel that this is one of the most important South African holidays. Our country is so culturally diverse, and I’m blessed to be able to live in a country in which my individuality can not only be embraced, but celebrated. South Africa is still a baby (it only turned 18 this year), but in that time, we have come along way. We have become more tolerant than ever before, and we’d need to be, seeing as we have 11 official languages, hundreds of different cultures, food, music, people – I take pride in being a part of the rainbow nation.
Another reason why I love this country is because even though I’m not actually South African, I feel like I am – like I’m a part of something bigger than me. But seeing as this is Heritage Day, I feel like it’s only right for me to show you my home country – Nigeria. If you’re not sure where Nigeria is, it’s in West Africa, on the equator. My country is not perfect, but not many are. I love Nigeria with all my heart – it is a country full of passion, culture, music, fashion and food. This country has a lot to offer – with our amazing musicians ranging from D’Banj and Davido to Asa and Fela Kuti. We have food that can compete with Indian food on the level of spiciness – we have our very own Nollywood and our fashion is impeccable. Sure, the traffic isn’t always dandy, but this country’s vibe… I can’t even describe it.
As a Nigerian family living in South Africa, my parents had thought it was important to keep our culture, and I am thankful for that. From the traditional dressing to the music to the food – I feel like I haven’t lost my roots. I am a proud Nigerian – green and white for the win.
Our names also reflect a lot about our culture. I always used to be embarrassed about mine because it was long and nobody could pronounce it but I always loved the meaning of it: ‘God Is Adding Sweetness [Honey] To My Life’. My parents chose Oluwafoyinsola Oluwatosin for a reason 🙂
In the pictures, I’m wearing my Nigeria jersey that my mom got during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and a traditional gele – a head wrap, usually worn at parties or special occasions – mine is actually made using aso oke.
This Heritage Day, I hope you look back into your past and learn about where you came from. Eat some of the food, listen to some of the music, wear some of the clothing – get in touch with your roots and embrace who you are! Have a wonderful day and Olorun a ke e (which means God bless you)!
xo, Foyin Og