Heritage Day as well as the entire first month of Spring recognises different aspects of South African culture like creative expression in terms of music and cultural performances, our sporting and historical inheritance, our many languages, the delicious foods we have enjoyed since days gone by as well as the popular memory associated with all things Mzansi.
We at the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) are very mindful of the opportunities this month provides in fostering our cultural pride and instilling a shared identity through events undertaken not just in September but throughout the year.
We are also keenly aware of those ideas, people, places, events, facets and features which make us proudly South African, and that which helps to strengthen the many things that bond us as people of the Rainbow Nation. To this end, the Comrades Marathon has been a uniting force for the people of South Africa. The Ultimate Human Race’s long held traditions and values have changed little over the years, but have definitely gone a long way in maintaining the enduring spirit and camaraderie which it has come to be remembered by.
CMA Chairman Peter Proctor says: ‘Heritage Day, in a nutshell, celebrates our unique land, that is the colourful, creative and kaleidoscopic South Africa we live in. We at the CMA, value this special day as the Ultimate Human Race speaks to the long held traditions and values associated with the rich heritage of our bright, bold and beautiful country.’
The CMA team will be present at the Liberty Midlands Mall on Heritage Day, where it will promote the world’s greatest ultra-marathon and all things Comrades, together with the Msunduzi Heritage Forum. This forum was formed 10 years ago as a way for local institutions and heritage-minded people and associations to work together, in educating Pietermaritzburg residents about their heritage and history, as well as to celebrate this deep-seated legacy through events, aimed at promoting social cohesion and a better understanding of the different cultures that form part of this city.
In furthering the high-spirited message of Heritage Day, Comrades Marathon Museum Curator Sian Theron has invited anyone and everyone to pay a visit to the Comrades Marathon Museum. The museum contains all things steeped in Comrades history which will definitely wow enthusiasts and ordinary folk alike.
Sian says: ‘What is so special about the Comrades Museum is its innate ability to not only invoke memories from Comrades runners but to inspire and motivate those who have never run the race. It is a gallery of memories and stands as a testament to one man’s dream to commemorate the human spirit over adversity.’
Statement released on Monday, 19 September 2011