INDONI LEKOTLA KICKS OFF IN KWAZULU-NATAL
By Winston Sibanda
There was glitz and glamour at the Ballito Exhibition Centre on April 11 as Indoni, an organisation which promotes culture officially opened its third lekotla at a gala dinner.
The evening had a traditional theme. Guests and Indoni queens from across South Africa looked colourful in their traditional attires. The event was graced by different Royal houses from across South Africa. This year’s programme will run under the theme “20 years into democracy, the role of civil society”. The lekotla, which took place throughout the weekend, allowed partners of Indoni to discuss issues around this year’s theme.
Dr Nomncebo Mthembu, who is the Director of Indoni, said Indoni is a movement set to revive culture and identity among the youth. She expressed disappointment in how culture is portrayed in today’s generation.
Dr Mthembu said, “Culture has become like a vase which is for decorating especially, during Heritage Month. People do not know what it is all about because they have lost their identity.”
She thanked the children who join Indoni camps to learn about their identity. She viewed them as fertile ground, describing Indoni as a seed. Dr Mthembu also said in their camps children are taught about their different cultures. This includes different roles played by man and women in cultural spheres. Their camps also promote pride and respect among boys and girls in a bid to reduce teenage pregnancies. Children attend these camps during school holidays. Indoni accepts children from 12years of age to those who are still not married and want to learn more about their culture. It prepares these children for parenthood. At the end of these camps it hosts a cultural beauty pageant. Currently Tsepiso Madai from the Tswana tribe is the reigning Miss cultural South Africa.
Indoni has launched its research institute. According to Vusi Buthelezi, who is in charge of the institute, the idea of opening a research institute was brought up last year. He said its achievement is proof that Indoni is active. He urged people to utilise this institution and know who they are.
Buthelezi said, “Britain is ruled by its royal house and we Africans are turning our backs on our royals, saying we are advancing. We should look back and see where we come from before we lose our identity.”
One of the speakers, Nhlanhla Mtaka, attacked the government for not recognising culture.
He said, “If government does not recognise culture it is betraying the liberation of its country.”
Mtaka questioned the issue of democracy. He said democracy has not yet been achieved since people have not regained their identity. He looked at the country’s public holidays and attacked the nation for celebrating holidays which he viewed as non-African.