People without a memory cannot chart their past to the future, acting president and Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri said on Monday during national Heritage Day celebrations.
"Poetry plays a significant role in the restoration of the memory of a nation," she said, addressing thousands of people at Botshabelo in the Free State.
The crowd had gathered to enjoy a day of music and poetry under the national heritage theme Celebrating Our Poetry.
In a speech featuring four poems, Matsepe-Casaburri said South Africa's collective memory is an integral part of its living heritage. She said people without an awareness of where came from cannot be in a position to reclaim their history.
The minister commended the Department of Arts and Culture for its commitment to promoting a culture of reading and writing and the development of all South African languages. "Thus the celebration of our poetry resonates with the initiative by the department to reclaim and revitalise our indigenous languages and literature, in both the oral and written forms."
She honoured poets in South Africa and Africa for the important role they played in the past.
Music acts such as Danny K, Freshlyground and Bongo Maffin were among the performers entertaining the crowd. —