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The non-profit organization founded by one of the University of Venda (UNIVEN) students, Stopthespot Youth Organization will host the first ever Mr and Miss UNIVEN Heritage. According to the co-founder organisation Mercy Raphalalani, the event seeks to re-educate and re-emphasize the importance of heritage amongst the youth. The event will take place on Friday, 06 September 2019 at the UNIVEN Sports Hall from 17:00 until late. 

Mr and Miss UNIVEN contestants

The co-founder of Stopthespot Youth Organization, Mercy Raphalalani


“This event is a platform that affords UNIVEN male and female students to be ambassadors of their heritage and advocates of their identity,” Raphalalani explained. She said that the event will be hosted under the theme: ‘Different languages One Nation’. 

Raphalalani said that the event is targeting the UNIVEN students only and they have aimed at encouraging youth to explore South Africa’s rich, beautiful and diverse cultures. “We intend to celebrate, understand and protect the unique value of our African culture, to protect our rich heritage from perishing, to promote and pay respect to South African diversities,” 

She further alluded that Mr and Miss UNIVEN Heritage will give youth the opportunity to embrace themselves with their cultures and about where they originate from through cultural dances and cultural attires. “We want to promote unity amongst UNIVEN students from different tribes so that they understand each other’s cultures and ways of doing things to restore, reclaim and preserve South African cultures in youth minds,” said Raphalalani. 

Various planned participating categories South Africa Tribes  Female contestants  Male contestants 
Venda  3  3 
Tsonga  3  3 
Pedi  3  3 
Zulu  3  3 
Xhosa  3  3 
Swati  3  3 
Ndebele  3  3 
Sotho  3  3 
Lobedu  3  3 
Total  27  27 

UNIVEN students who are ready to embrace their culture

Makobe Yasmeen will be among the participating contestants

The 20-year-old UNIVEN Media Studies student who is also one of the female contestants from the Pedi tribe, Makobe Yasmeen said that Mr and Miss UNIVEN Heritage is another way of embracing their diverse cultures through representation of different tribes competing. Not necessarily competing for the prize but showcasing the pride they have for their cultures.

“During the contest, we will be able to engage with other tribes for the primary purpose of understanding their cultures and how they operate or do things differently. It will bring unity and all of us will be comfortable in our cultures,” she added.

Ramafhi Thabang Ulysses (23) will also be participating

From the Basotho tribe, Ramafhi Thabang Ulysses (23) who is currently pursuing his Degree in Accounting Sciences at UNIVEN mentioned that South Africa belongs to everyone who lives in it. “We tend to educate our fellow students about our African cultures through music, dramatization, dance, poetry and many more activities.”

He said that he has entered to participate in Mr and Miss UNIVEN Heritage because he is passionate about modelling. Ramafhi advice his fellow UNIVEN students that they should not be ashamed of their skin colour, body shape, height and culture. “During the upcoming Mr and Miss UNIVEN heritage we will have something to say as UNIVEN students, which is “No” to tribalism, gender Discrimination, Xenophobia, homophobia, body shaming and to women abuse.”

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 05 September 2019

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