Salimisa Bikani, Matric pupil

Matric pupil, Salimisa Bikani made this speech during our Heritage Day Celebrations held this past Tuesday:

“…Good afternoon and welcome all you beautiful faces to today’s Heritage Day service. Niyanamnkela ngelihle igama lomfeli wethu uKrestu. 

On this day that started off chilly you guys brought the flame. Today the way that we are dressed and the way that we carry ourselves embodies the schools ethos of diversity. The pride and the Confidence in which each one of you presents yourselves with is one of the many beautiful things to watch in this school. 

The confidence in the strides you take, as you are dressed in your traditional attire and colors of your country, screams “I AM” and echos the loudness of your individual presence. 

Those dressed representing a Heritage that isn’t their own, each year we admire the manner in which you do this. How you treat these stores with almost respect and also take time to learn about “imvelaphi yomnye umntu” where someone else is coming from, is truly beautiful. 

Today we celebrate the rich Heritage our ancestors left us with. Something to be proud of and something we can call our own. It’s amazing how item of clothing can encompass so many emotions, special occasions and says a lot about the person wearing it. 

In the wise words of the Brown skinned girl herself “when I leave this world I’ll leave no regrets, I’ll leave something to remember so they won’t forget that I was here” 

You are a reminder that long before you, your ancestors lived and they were. You are the pride and joy of your people.

So today greet someone in your home language, teach people to say kind things in your language. My kind word to teach you today is “Mihle” meaning you’re beautiful in Xhosa. Go out and educate people about where you come from and what it means to be who you are, share some of your favorite traditional events and even explain what happens, for example mine is Umgidi where we celebrate the returning of men form Bush. 

Today we celebrate, we learn and we are proud.