Nomakhaya Makhaya is new to the team and our community manager at Total Exposure, working across the Mirror Mirror Africa and BritBox South Africa accounts. With Heritage Month upon her, we asked what she suggests how our brands engage their communities in a conversation that resonates with the meaning of Heritage Day, while staying authentic to their own brand mission. Here’s what she had to say:
Vetkoeks made by your grandmother and warm, sweet scented koeksisters with coconut flakes sold by the auntie down your street. The delicious smell of meat sizzling away on the braai and the infectious pulse of amapiano music at the local shisanyama. The stories your elders have told you about your history, and the little dorpies and gems you discover on your road trips with friends. We are South Africans, we are storytellers. It’s these stories that connect us, even when we’re same-same but different. This is why we celebrate Heritage Day.
It is known as one of South Africa’s more colourful public holidays. It’s the day when you’re most likely to see the country’s people adorned in their cultural clothing. Traditional attire and beads, Ndebele prints and bracelets, the lavish sari dresses, the ever-iconic leopard print vests and even Springbok jerseys make it onto the corridors of workplaces and schools alike – a kaleidoscope of the rich heritage that South Africa is made up of. It’s easy to get noticed in person, here’s 5 topics to Engage Your Communities and #GetNoticed online.
Back to basics
Often, it is the simple things that get a brand noticed. By simply sharing the history of Heritage Day, how it started and why we celebrate, this can create much engagement. Every day, share a different fact, highlight an iconic event or memory from Heritage celebrations throughout the years. Not only will it bring nostalgic memories for your followers, it will create a fun way to celebrate this month under a cool hashtag.
Share SA’s rich heritage
South Africa is a diverse country like no other. Our cultures and traditions are rich in history. Our attractions are beautiful. From waterfalls in Mpumalanga to secluded restaurants and scenic hiking trails. One way you can engage your community this Heritage Month, while highlighting the rich heritage and beauty of our country - is to prompt the sharing of these amazing traditions. Ask your followers to share their favorite hidden gems on social media and tag you in the pictures or showcase their traditional attire, music, food, dance and embrace their mother tongues as a way of promoting our African identity.
Heritage Month is the best time to celebrate local businesses. When you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream and helping to contribute to a better society and economy. Another great idea is to support the work of local artisans, artists, and craftspeople making traditional crafts such as woven baskets, clay pots, beaded jewellery and garments. Profiling them on social media will not only get them noticed, but your brand as well.
What have you learned?
This year’s Heritage Month, similar to the year 2020 comes at a time of uncertainty and disruption in society. So much has happened and many lessons have been learnt. In our workplaces, at school and personal lives, things have changed. Ask your community what they will be up to for #HeritageDay and what they have learnt. This discussion will encourage people. They will notice that we are certainly not alone. It is a light hearted way to share our stories and celebrate our traditions.
What can you do to help?
Share how people can help the preservation and restoration of important natural, cultural and historic sites. We must keep our heritage alive so that generations to come can experience and understand it. Share the following to take part in preserving these heritage sites-
Your organization can get involved in conservation activities
Join interning or volunteering programs.
You can practice sustainable tourism by respecting local culture and customs.
Do not damage sites by littering, writing on walls etc. when visiting.
Lastly, monetary donations are the most direct way to support heritage sites and projects.
Get started, #GetNoticed
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