Customs build character, says icon

OCTOGENARIAN: Traditional Conservationist Mama Grace Masuku delivers her speech during the recent Africa Day celebrations on the Bellville Campus

“You’ve got no chance of understanding others if you don’t know yourself,” says traditional conservationist Mama Grace Masuku.

Masuku, 85, was the guest speaker at this year’s Africa Day’s celebrations on the Bellville Campus when she emphasized the value of knowing one’s customs and traditions.

She says knowing her identity gives her the wisdom to teach the youth to be upright people.

Masuku, who was recently awarded the Order of Baobab in Bronze by President Jacob Zuma, has a profound understanding of indigenous knowledge systems and the environment.

Her work has also been recognized iconic by the 21icons Project, a visual celebration of the lives of people who have shaped the world around them for the better.

In response to Masuku’s speech, Prof Monwabisi Ralarala, CPUT’s Institutional Language Coordinator, said culture and identity are important for people to understand themselves in relation to the environment.







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