by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – DIGITAL connectivity can enhance the value of South Africa’s heritage, preserve it and ensure the country remains a significant player on the world stage.
A technology executive said this as South Africa celebrated Heritage Day on Thursday (today).
This year, the holiday is being marked amid the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) but an aura of hope is sweeping through South Africa as infections drop, the country moves to Level 1 lockdown and is on the global map thanks to a global phenomenon called the Jerusalema dance.
Limpopo-born musician, Kgaogelo Moagi, known professionally as Master KG, produced the song behind the dance that has taken the world by a storm and has provided relief globally during the pandemic.
“The irresistible song is a shining example of one of South Africa’s most precious resources – our digital heritage,” said Huawei South Africa Chief Executive Officer, Spawn Fan, said.
“Digital connectivity can enhance the value of that heritage,” Fan said.
He noted at present, Jerusalema might be South Africa’s greatest cultural export.
Fittingly, it was chosen by President Cyril Ramaphosa for South Africa’s Heritage Day dance challenge!
“This raises a critical issue in Heritage Month: it is time to view our heritage through a digital lens,” Fan said.
Incredibly, the video has amassed more than 150 million views on YouTube.
Fan pointed out that sharing digital heritage with the world depended on internet access.
“The emerging mass, high-speed connectivity promised by the roll-out of 5G networks is the perfect platform on which to do this.”
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who is South Africa’s Communications and Digital Technologies minister, recently said government would continue efforts to cover some 20 million unconnected South Africans.
“We applaud this news,” Fan said.
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has noted that making sure the burgeoning digital heritage remained available was a global issue relevant to all countries and communities.
Fan in conclusion said if South Africa wanted its heritage to survive and thrive, it needed to think of that heritage digitally.
“We need to connect South Africa’s rich culture to the world, in digital form – whether it’s an ancient civilisation, or a catchy house-music hit,” he concluded.
– CAJ News