Johannesburg-based digital marketing specialist, Avatar, has released a mobile application by South Africans for South Africans that was launched on Heritage Day. As Madiba said in 1996, “When our first democratically elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of the national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has profound power to help build the nation.”
His words resonated with Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, CEO of Avatar. “One of the challenges we face as a nation is that society is changing and information about our culture and heritage, which is usually passed down to the younger generations by the elders, has been lost,” says Mkhwanazi (@ZibusisoSays).
“We wanted to contribute to Heritage Day celebrations and decided to create this mobile application, aptly named Origins App, with the aim to preserves one of the cornerstones of our culture, one that speaks to the core of our identity –our heritage.”
The application, which will be available for Android, will enable families to track their heritage through clan names. Examples of clan names are – Madiba (Nelson Mandela), Zizi (Thabo Mbeki) and Msholozi (President Zuma).
Veli Ngubane (@TheNduna), creative director at Avatar, says that the internet has naturally been positioned as the melting pot of cultures and traditions. “We, at Avatar, feel that creating the application is the best way of preserving information being lost to future generations.”
The application will be continuously updated and improved because it acts as a hub of information. “Users will be able to contribute about their own surnames and in doing so ensure that the South African heritage never goes extinct,” says Ngubane.
The application was available for download from 24 September. A video that explains the application’s inner workings is available on Avatar’s YouTube channel.