Langa and Bontas celebrate diversity in unity

South Africa - Cape Town - 24 September 2019 - Dozens of community members, community leaders, faith leaders and activists, including Allan Boesak and Imam Rashied Omar, marched from the Guga S'thebe Arts and Culture Centre in Langa to the Bonteheuwel Civic Centre in Bonteheuwel as part of the Bridge the Gap heritage month programme. The Heritage Month programmes, co-ordinated by the Cape Cultural Collective, aims to forge unity between the Bonteheuwel and Langa communities. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Hundreds of residents from Langa and Bonteheuwel celebrated Heritage Day in the Bonteheuwel Civic Centre with a concert.

The communities came together for the first time, celebrating their common humanity and heritage.

Dubbed “Bridge the Gap”, the concert began with a unity procession from Guga S’thebe Arts and Culture Centre in Langa to the Bontelanga Bridge, where these communities met in solidarity.

Several local organisations that are concerned about the violence on the Cape Flats and support efforts at social cohesion and justice joined the initiative as partners.

They included the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR); the One City, Many Cultures Initiative; the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative; Denis Goldberg’s House of Hope organisation; the Cape Flats Interfaith Declaration; the Imam Haron Foundation; and the Claremont Main Road Mosque.

The programme was co-ordinated by the Cape Cultural Collective (CCC) in partnership with community organisations with the aim of building solidarity, to better face joint challenges and ensure greater social justice.

The Unity Procession included members of the clergy from across Cape Town, community leaders, young people, senior citizens, and cultural groups.

“We aren’t approaching this as simply as another event, but as part of a process of healing, growth and development,” said CCC chairperson Mansoor Jaffer. “We’re building on previous work done by the IJR in partnership with the Bonteheuwel and Langa communities.”

Artists and groups that lit up the Civic Centre included the Dizu Plaatjies ensemble, Rosa Choir, the energetic dancers of Northern Dance Academy and the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, who performed their celebrated peace dance..