Goldfish Live are taking part. So is Louw Venter, who just won best South African movie at Durban International Film Festival with his film, Stam. The team from My Octopus Teacher said they’d do the challenge too.
The challenge, says founder of CapeTownMagazine.com, Marcus Zandhuis, is to turn Heritage Day into something more relevant and powerful than ‘Braai Day’. The objective of the online tourism and travel magazine’s #HeritageChallenge, or This Is Your Heritage Day campaign, is to enable “moments of joy” for locals and international travellers by “bringing out the most unique in the biggest way, and biggest in the most unique way”.
To that end, the team has created a series of ‘questions’ readers and followers can act on, and then challenge three of their friends to do the same.
Koesisters or koeksisters? Or amagwinya?
Challenge: What did you grow up eating, and what do you love about it? Tell us about the experience. Koesister is traditional Cape malay, koeksisters is traditional twisty syrupy Afrikaans one, amagwinya you find in many townships.
Example of answer (please be descriptive): “Koesisters or koeksisters? Definitely koesisters. The flakiness of the coconut, the aroma that lingers in the kitchen when these doughty wonders are flying”.
OR: “Walking with your friend to the corner shop to buy hot steamy and pillowy amagwinya for breakfast is a family treat.”
Save the family recipe
Challenge: Tell us the story about the recipe or food you are most determined to learn and pass down to the next generation.
For the culture – shisanyama, snoek braai, tjop en dop?
Challenge: Shisanyamas are so embedded into the history and culture of our country. They are about food, friends, music and laughter. What happens at your favourite shisanyama or when you braai, what are some of the best stories?
What is the fruit tree of your childhood?
Challenge: What is your memory of playing in a tree? What is a dessert or food made from an apple tree that holds the sweetest memories for you?
Ask an elder or tell a laatjie
Challenge: There is so much in our history that we need to talk about and share. It is who we are. It’s in our parents and grandparents, in our natural history and our villages. What would you most like to know from your history and what would you like to tell younger people?
Out the family (heritage) in-joke
Challenge: There’s a story behind old sayings or and phrases often repeated by families. What are yours?
“In our work, the stories we encounter are so full and so many are rich with heritage. Because CapeTownMagazine.com is online in all social channels, we thought we’d bring heritage to them in channels where they live,” says Zandhuis.
“And it can bring different cultures so much more closer: For example I remember Sue Levy the (then) marketing lead for Radisson Red telling me a story about koesisters and coffee on a Sunday morning. I was intrigued and loved the story. Long story short, I now get my koesisters on Sunday morning from Against The Grain Coffee company in Bo Kaap.”
Zandhuis believes the lockdown allowed many to recalibrate their lives and draw closer to each other and their families. “Family and culture provides a structure,” he says. “In lockdown, the tourism industry has been hit so hard. We felt we needed to get heritage closer to people in a simple way. Often there’s genius in simple.”
The #HeritageChallenge campaign has already gained the support of organisations such as WESGRO, which markets Cape Town and Western Cape, Tru-Cape, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company and Shimansky Diamonds with their Table Mountain ring. “We’re giving away two of those by the way – both with 27 diamonds (country code South Africa),” Zandhuis says as an aside.
Ultimately, he says, the challenge is about storytelling and ‘storymaking’. “My passion’s always been storytelling not selling. With what we achieved [at CapeTownMagazine.com] we’ve moved into something I call ‘storymaking’. Creating something that uses storytelling but all put together, there’s a bigger purpose that makes a whole new story of good. That’s a whole new story you were part of making. It makes me get up every morning and take the risks we take,” he says.
Zandhuis is excited about stories he believes the magazine has found a way to release. “There’s the recognition that everyone’s got more in common or interesting to tell and together that’s a stepping stone for all of us to ‘see each other’,” he adds.
“Personally I got a family recipe out of this. I never knew we had one until I remembered my mother’s macaroni ham and cheese. She’s been making it for over 40 years. She’s 77 now and if she passes away, I wouldn’t know how to make it. I got my mom on Facetime (in the Netherlands) and she took me through the recipe and I made it for my son. That’s also heritage,” Zandhuis says.
“Locally I’d really love everyone to have heard a story about a village they didn’t know about before, and because of that make them feel more home in the Western Cape. Take kids to the quaint bee museum in Hopefield. Or put Montagu on their to do list because of the most special lover’s walk through the river – and get the epic picture (for Instagram of course) of the tunnel driving out. I’m happy if more people know the regions of the Western Cape now and have a little town on their bucket list”.
He plans to take the challenge national in 2021. “There has been such interest from brands and organisations to get in for next year and internationally, this is something that truly can put South Africa on the map again: Someone said I can see the CNN headline: ‘A destination started a heritage challenge – perhaps the world should join’.
“We’re talking to the new Travel Africa Network, who wants us to take it into the continent in a travel show that can work in every country. We will need to change the wording for our ‘Ask an elder or tell a Laaitie’ challenge for that haha!”
CapeTownMagazine.com should be recognised and understood as not as a media title magazine that takes advertising but a platform that enables brands and partners to create special impactful change, Zandhuis says. “That moves people. People want that. Brands need to know there’s places out there that can achieve that.”
The challenge began on 21 September and runs for 10 days. “It would be great to be able to say ‘we truly changed Heritage Day together’ with the Inaugural This Is Your Heritage Day Challenge over 10 days,” Zandhuis says.
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