THE BIG IN­TER­VIEW

AU­DREY SKHOSANA

The New Age (Gauteng) - - FEATURE - Fran­cen@the­newage.co.za

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.

PIC­TURE: FRANCE NYAKA

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.

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