Celebrating our heritage: This month in history

Posted by Mishqah Schippers on 22 September 2021

On 24 September each year, South Africans celebrate their heritage – usually over a traditional backyard braai, but often at special Heritage Day events, when they proudly and joyfully dress in their traditional outfits. With 11 official languages in South Africa, there is a large diversity of cultures and traditions on display on the day.

What’s on this weekend

(Depends on Covid-19 restrictions)

Killarney Night Run
23 September

In Joburg? Grab your family and friends and head to the Killarney Country Club in Houghton for a 5km or 10km evening run. Don’t forget your headlamps.

Napier Patat Festival
25 September

As spring settles in you’re invited to join an entertaining weekend that includes a scarecrow competition, potjiekos competition, outdoors events, music, markets and food stalls. The small Overberg village in the Western Cape also has its restaurants open for you to enjoy plenty of treats. facebook.com/napierwinepatat

This month in history

The passenger pigeon was declared extinct. The species was hunted into extinction by American settlers who slaughtered them for their meat. They were also considered pests as vast flocks decimated crops. From a species once so numerous that they filled the skies from one horizon to the next, their numbers dropped to zero in just 50 years. The last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio on 1 September 1914.

Scottish doctor and bacteriologist Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered the antibiotic penicillin. A decade and a half later, his discovery saved the first patient.

chemist Stephanie Kwolek invented the lightweight fibre used in bulletproof vests and body armour. The fibre is five times stronger than steel and has saved many lives. This material can be found in cellphones, aeroplanes and suspension bridges.

On 12 September, Steve Biko, the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, was killed in police custody.

Sources: Britannica, European Union, Universal Tongue, Trafalgar, SAHistory | Photography: gallo/ getty images Illustration: Jess Nicholson

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