Something about this Instagram post made me rethink just how well I know about my culture as a Xhosa woman. When this was posted, Hulisani was enroute to Venda to learn about her culture and striking the right balance between culture and modern day realities.
Read her post below:
N1 North, en route hayani, my beautiful Venda! Term 1 school holidays at AFDA are shooting windows for our respective projects. A few weeks ago, I was approached by a group of 3rd Years to star in their documentary for what is called their "Experimental" project.
I'll be honest, they caught me offguard and I was hesitant at first.
The concept turned out to be something that was very close to my heart and something I had the intention of doing for myself, personally, some time soon.
I'm off to Venda to learn more about my culture, specifically about the role of woman in my culture and the various rites of passage one must pass through as a Venda girl -> woman. What are the cultural practices where woman are concerned in my culture? What do they represent? What are they all about? What is culturally expected of a Venda woman?
As I'm getting older, getting closer to marriage, getting closer to motherhood, I feel that I don't have enough authentic knowledge about my culture and our practices.
Personally, I understand and respect that balance that one sometimes has to strike between culture and their modern day life. Some cultural practices do continue in our suburban and township homes, however, some of us don't know the true origin of those practices and we've simplified (and in some cases oversimplified) or even 'kasified' or Westernized them. That's the gap I want to fill in my mind and heart, for me and my legacy. Although I may not be able to go back in time and do certain things that I was meant to do according to my culture, I want to have the purest knowledge, in its entirety, so I can make informed decisions when it comes to my culture and I and my future children, more so my daughters.
I'm really excited about the next 4 days of shooting this documentary, the working title of which is 'My Culture, My Conventions'. And to think this is a "school project" but for me it is so much more. Grateful to have been perfectly positioned to be at AFDA at this time, in this year, to meet these 3rd Years.
This got me to think - and reminded me of the cultural pilgrimage Thandiswa Mazwai took just before releasing Zabalaza in 2004. And oh what a classic that turned out to be! May Hulisani's experience be just as amazing.
Would love to hear your thoughts on Hulisani's journey, and how important you think it is for us to balance our cultural roles in today's modern world.