THE BIG INTERVIEW
IT IS essential for everyone to be proud of his or her tradition and culture without feeling ashamed.
This will help future generations to learn from us about our cultural roots and develop a passion to practise their customs.
“By so doing, we will not only be living up to the spirit of ubuntu, but we will be playing a vital role in preserving our heritage as Africans.’’
This was said by the young Ndebele woman who recently put the province on the map by walking away with the title of 2017 Miss Cultural South Africa, during an interview with The New Age at her dusty home village of Luthuli near KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga.
Nothing deterred Audrey Skhosana, 17, a high school pupil, from unleashing her love and knowledge about her cultural roots which saw her surpassing her peers from other nations and earning the crown during the Indoni Miss Cultural SA’s contest held in Durban recently.
The Indoni project is a moral regeneration programme targeting virgin girls by means of culture and indigenous knowledge to instil pride in African culture and traditions.
It simply means a young and vibrant girl who is a virgin and paragon of virtue.
It is responsible for the celebration of our culture and heritage and further bringing together various cultures from across the country to showcase their diversity and richness through their various activities and functions.
The annual project happens under the theme, My Heritage My Pride, through support from the national Department of Arts and Culture.
Skhosana said apart from enjoying the benefits under the crowning, she had a huge task behind the title.
Apart from inspiring her peers about staying away from sexual intercourse until the right time and promoting the Ndebele tradition at various events, she educates them about Ndebele beadwork, dance, praises and other activities related to their cultural practices.
“I am a proud young Ndebele girl who exactly knows what I need in life, when and how, especially about practising my cultural roots and paving a way for myself to have a better future.
“I developed a desire to become part of the Indoni project in order to save my life from temptations due to peer pressure after having seen a lot of my peers ruining their future by becoming mothers instead of focusing on their education for a better future.
“The project educates us about our rich cultural practices in line with the spirit of ubuntu.
“It also teaches us as young girls to remain virgins until we reach the right time,” Skhosana said.
She said she always had confidence that she deserved the crown because she obtained second place during the previous competition.
“Nothing is so difficult that a diligent person cannot conquer it. I am what I am today due to the confidence I always have in myself even if my fellow villagers used to criticise me and were jealous of me until they recognised me on TV competing against my peers from other provinces. I also express gratitude to the support from my fans.
“I will remain in love with the practice of culture and tradition even after I have already handed over the baton to my successor because the practice is in my heart.
“It is important for people to know their cultural roots and be proud of them,” Skhosana said. The Grade 12 pupil at Lethabong Senior Secondary School said her career dream is to study towards a bachelor of education degree.
If she shifted her focus to her studies and cultural practices, she would then become a street football player.
ROOTED: This year’s Miss 2017 Culture SA Audrey Skhosana is a proud Ndebele and since her coronation plans to promote Ndebele traditions such as beadwork and dance as well as social issues.