Business opportunities through Cultural Diversity
South Africa is a country made up of different cultures and ethnicities, boasting 11 different official languages (Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Venda, Swati, Sesotho, Sepedi, Tsonga and Tswana). South Africa has nine provinces, each with its own legislature, premier and executive council and distinctive landscape, population, economy and climate. They are the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape. Each province has a distinct culture and feel, related to the distribution of the various ethnic groups that comprise the South African population. Culture is a tourist resource with a promising future. At the start of the 21st century, cultural tourism is extremely popular, including national architecture, local food, performing arts, traditional arts and crafts and festivals.
- Adopt a novel take on township tours and make it your own, by offering tourists the opportunity to visit interesting places in your area, and meet and interact with locals from a bicycle seat. Create a tour package that includes visiting historical spots in your area and the township, which could include several stops to browse local craft outlets or craftspeople making grass baskets, wood carvings, and wire ornaments; you should be well-versed in the history of the area and ethnic customs. Arrange to stage traditional dancing or singing while visitors enjoy tea or lunch in an African home.
- Explore Ethno Tourism by introducing visitor’s to South Africa the culture and traditions of different African communities. One of the popular Ethno tourist destinations is a visit to one of the Shangaan-Tsonga villages found around the Drakensberg Mountains in the Northern Province and in Mpumalanga. There is a Shangaan Cultural Village that has been established near the southern area of the Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon. Visitors are given a tour of the traditional African way of life; the ethnic village has a market, beautiful trees and grasslands, local crafts, day tours and the highly regarded Chief’s Kraal Evening Festival. The Chief’s Kraal Evening Festival comprises dances, food, and stories of the life of the Shangana people. Important activities and beliefs of the village include fishing as a sport and source of food and livelihood; the Shangana people have sacred burial grounds, interesting art, and a social system that is peace-oriented and community-based.
Words by Theresa Lutge-Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)