Arts + Culture

8 Perspectives On South Africa's Braai Day Debate

September 24th is Heritage Day in South Africa, also known as National Braai Day. Okayafrica looked at 8 perspectives in the debate.

Today is a day in South Africa filled with good times, national reflection, and, inevitably, debate. Originally celebrated as Shaka Day in KZN, September 24th was reclaimed as Heritage Day for the sake of political compromise between the SA parliament and the IFP. In 2005 a then 25 year-old South African by the name of Jan Scanell (aka Jan Braai) launched a "National Braai Day" campaign. And so it came to be that the 24th of September would be a day of braaing as a means of unified celebration. Below we highlight eight perspectives on the reclaiming of Heritage Day.


“This is about much more than cooking meat on a fire... In fact, whether you actually cook meat on a fire is utterly unimportant. You can cook vegetables on that fire, or fish, or just stand around the fire. This is about uniting a nation, a nation so divided by its past, but a nation that has everything going for it to be a fantastic place, and we are a fantastic place."

-Jan Scannell


"The government is trying to give people the space to define for themselves who they are, what their heritage is and where they are going. This was done in an effort to bring dignity to who our people are. It will really be a sad day if braaing one day becomes more important than celebrating our heritage."

-Former ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga


"But if you're going to require that people take these things seriously, at least let that mean more than reading op-eds and attending boring speeches by aged politicians. So if somebody suggests that I could spend the day having a braai with my nearest and dearest, who am I to argue? Mathole Motshekga is certainly not offering up any helpful ideas on how to celebrate the day."

-Mail & Guardian Columnist Faranaaz Parker (Heritage Day: Braai, and braai proudly!, 2013)


“It’s a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam…Here is one thing that can unite us irrespective of all of the things that are trying to tear us apart.”

-Desmond Tutu, patron saint of Braai Day


"I must admit, I supported Braai Day for the longest time until I thought about it. I still support it, but it can’t be bigger than Heritage Day. We need to step in. To use the words that were used in the struggle, 'Each one, teach one.'"

-Khaya Dlanga (Braai Day is a farce, 2010)


"Next time you savour the idea of National Braai Day – an adaption of Heritage Day that attempts to unite us in our collective love as a nation of shisanyama in its various formats – bear in mind that globally almost half of the world’s food is thrown away."

-City Press Columnist Kay Sexwale (Food for Thought, 2013)


"Braai Day is a slap in the face of our efforts to regain who we are. And should make any self respecting South African cringe."

-Simphiwe Dana via twitter


"Our national heritage is being reduced to a braai, as Heritage Day is taken over by commercial interests that are rebranding it 'national braai day'."

-Muzi Kuzwayo (Friends & Friction: Is our heritage just about burnt meat, 2013)


Photo credits: Deeds Art

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.

It has been a fantastic year for Tems. The Nigerian singer, producer, and songwriter achieved a platinum record for eternal banger Essence, her collaboration with fellow Nigerian superstar Wizkid, an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Artist, a billion worldwide video views, and over 350 million audio streams. Not to mention featuring on Canadian rapper Drake's blowout album Certified Lover Boy, the singer has also sold out every show she's booked.

The release of Tems's sophomore EP If Orange Was a Place solidified her place amongst the greats and it was received with gusto by fans and international audiences. A month after the release the Afrobeats singer has graced fans with a sultry music video to go along with equally as tantalizing lead single Crazy Tings. Conceptualized by the multitalented Tems, and directed by UAX, the music video follows a sensual Tems as she sings about needing space from a lying partner.

International audiences continue to rave over the songstress, with Tems delivering an impressive US TV debut on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! this month. Essence continues to top international charts. While becoming the official song of the summer, the track peaked on the Billboard 100 Top 10, becoming the most Shazamed song in the United States and was remixed by Canadian musical heavyweight Justin Bieber, becoming the first song written by Nigerian artists to hit No.1 on Urban Radio.

Tems has been producing consistent hits since her debut in September 2020, and a year later, the singer's immense talent is securing her reputation as a world-class superstar.

Check out Tem's music video for single 'Crazy Tings' below

Tems - Crazy Tings (Official Video)

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