In South Africa, we have just celebrated Heritage Month. This is where we celebrate our unity in diversity – where we are encouraged to celebrate who we are. A chance to forget our differences (those negative ones) and remember that we all come from somewhere (imvelaphi yethu). We remember our origin and celebrate it in our own lives and those of others. We take time to learn about the different clothing, food and values that each culture brings.
Here at Beautiful Gate we also took time to celebrate our values. Everyone has a value that they live by; mine is being Christ-centred. As a Xhosa woman who became a Christian in Youth with a Mission, I leant about being in Christ, and how this brings an invitation to belong to a new community, people and values.
For Heritage Day, I did a devotion about our heritage, based on Revelations, where it speaks of all people and tribes who will come before the throne and bring their cultures and languages. It was a timely reminder that we need to respect each other and what each person brings. We also need to respect the children and the families we are working with.
Everybody who works at Beautiful Gate should be caring for the children of our community, because that is why we exist. To protect them and offer support and help to their parents so that they are empowered. We are also there to support families who are not able to care for their children and empower them to strive to do so.
There is a Xhosa idiom, kuthatha ilali ukukhulisa umntwana, which when loosely translated means it takes a village to raise a child. Let’s embrace this beautiful sentiment and make it our own. Not just in Heritage Month, but every month.
Revelation 7:9, NIV: "After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands."
BEAUTIFUL GATE CELEBRATES
It's not a party until Siya does something! Gumboot dancing has been part of our Heritage, rooted in the dark gold mine tunnels of South Africa. Siya shows us how.
This year, we could not come together and enjoy a feast of our different cultures as we usually do around Heritage Day. So, we decided to host an online 'event' using whatsapp, a tool easily accessed by all our staff. Staff members were asked to enter the Fashion Show, Talent Show and Master Chef by submitting photos and videos ahead of time. On the 23rd September, we followed the event from wherever we were, whether at home, in the community or on site and dedicated time to celebrate each other's heritage and learn more about our journeys. We had some live hosting, a flood of entries for our fashion show, submissions of traditional recipes for our 'Master Chef' and some pre-recorded entertainment. Our phones were beeping endlessly into the afternoon with notifications of splendid wonder! The only thing missing was a kitchen filled with all our different offerings of food, and the hugs and selfies that would usually happen if we were together. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into our beautiful event!
The first submission of the 2020 Heritage Day fashion show
More breathtaking submissions from team members looking exquisite in their colours.
ALL THE WORLD'S
Our Drama Club made up of high school learners, is led by a 19-year old Performing Arts student. This is Asive Kopman’s story about how theatre influences his life and the lives of young people in our community. This story starts back in 2017 when Asive was in Grade 11 and he knew then that he needed academic support to end his high school career on his best foot. After hearing about our Education programme he registered and soon after that, found more than one reason to keep coming. During his matric year in 2018, Asive approached Alice Moyo, our Learner Education Support manager with his interests set on the drama club. When the mid-year holidays came, Asive auditioned for the team with a performance poem and after his stellar performance, he was welcomed by Aaron – the drama club facilitator at the time.
After his successful audition, Asive kept impressing his peers and gained experience as a performer with appearances at the School’s Art Festival at Artscape, Buya Festival at Stellenbosch and the Delft Box Theatre to mention a few. When Aaron stepped down as the drama club facilitator and director, the young man simply rose to the occasion and hasn't looked back since.
The drama club's last performance was just before the coronavirus reached our shores. The team applied to participate in this year’s annual Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival – a well-known and well-received platform that celebrates raw talent from all corners of the Western Cape province. What made this play special was that it was inspired and written by Aaron but it was Asive’s first time in the role of director.
Asive Kopman outside the Baxter Theatre holding up a poster of the Zabalaza Theatre Festival just days before the launch.
Asive said “for me, the theatre has always been more than using my body to tell stories. It has also been a space for me to learn about different cultures through people I meet and through the scripts I rehearse. Throughout my childhood, my play facilitators and mentors have always used this time together as an opportunity to develop not just my craft but my character. It is a safe space I look forward to”.
During lockdown, the drama club has not been able to come together but Asive has kept connected to them through whatsapp messages, encouraging them to keep using their creative gifts and talents. We are looking forward to a time when they come together and grace our stage once more!
Asive, together with his drama club rehearsing 'Speaking Souls' for the Zabalaza Theatre at the Baxter.
At our core are five values: Christ-centered, Respect, Teamwork, Accountability and Excellence. The birth of these values dates back to 2008 when our founders, Toby and Aukje Brouwer, together with Beautiful Gate national organisations drafted an agreement to reflect an association of like-minded organisations. With 12 years having passed since the values were established, this Heritage Month, we asked some of our team members what their most appreciated values are and the reason why. We showcased these values on our social media, but are sharing some here too.
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The global Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic will have far-reaching health, social, economic and even educational effects in the months and years to come. Here in South Africa, many businesses are suffering due to the national lockdown. It is at times like these that we rely on our consistent, monthly donors to help us weather the storm. If you are not yet a monthly donor, please consider joining our Hope Club.
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