Pretoria – Communications Deputy Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has urged South Africa to participate in the Tell Your Story campaign, saying citizens can learn much from each other’s experiences.
Speaking at the launch of a book authored by Pastor Dick Koza titled “God loves culture” on Saturday evening, the Deputy Minister said the campaign, which is the brainchild of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), was initiated to engage citizens.
She said the aim was to help every person understand what others have experienced and also to understand why certain decisions are made towards building a healthy nation.
Much of the division that has happened in South Africa was due to the apartheid system.
Government launched the Tell Your Story campaign during Heritage Month in September to encourage South Africans from all walks of life to share their personal stories on what it was like growing up during apartheid, what changes democracy has brought and their vision for the future.
“It is important to make the point that as we tell those stories we do not only get to learn, but unlearn some of the practices that have destroyed the fibre of the country,” the Deputy Minister told those attending the book launch at Rhema Bible Church in Randburg.
Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams referred to a University of Pretoria incident in which students who were attending a party dressed up as domestic workers and painting their faces black.
This, she said, showed that not all people identify with the culture of the country’s rainbow nation.
The Deputy Minister called on citizens to tell their stories “as it is”.
“In speaking with South Africans from different walks of life, we trust that one way to build unity in diversity is for citizens to tell it like it is.
“We want you to share that with us, but at the same time as we share those experiences we also want to help each other through hearing from those stories because we believe that working together we can do more,” said the Deputy Minster.
She called on citizens to have a spirit of Ubuntu among one another, while also calling on South Africans to educate themselves so as to continue building a nation.
The launch of the book coincided with National Book Week which was established as an annual reading promotion event in 2010.
National Book Week concludes on Sunday.