September in South Africa is Heritage Month and I had the privilege of taking a couple of Ford’s cars around Gauteng to learn about South Africa’s heritage and how it influences us all today.
Myself and my buddy Neil, headed out with the very comfortable Ford Everest Limited Edition to Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind to discover our origins as humans. With long sprawling roads ahead of us, the Everest and her awesome features (like lane tracking) were perfect for the task at hand. On our arrival in the area, we learned that historical finds like those of Mrs Ples and many other such discoveries are of huge archaeological significance as they help us to understand where our roots are from.
The Visitor’s Center at Maropeng takes visitors on a visual and aural smorgasbord of information about where we’re from and where we’re headed. Fortunately for us, our guide gave us a quick overview of all the important bits before we headed to the hotel to take in all the creature comforts and also to imagine what it was like back in the day for our ancestors who lived in the area. As the sky turned dark, we made our way out into the surrounding veld to grab a few beautiful star pics. Imagine what Mrs Ples must have seen..
Next on the stop was the Capital City, Pretoria, and the Everest was swapped for one of the new 2.2l Ford Rangers. Driving a bakkie in Pretoria was essential to getting to know the culture and heritage of the area and the people. My first visit to the Voortrekker Monument, was an eye-opener to the many struggles that both Locals and Settlers endured while trying to establish this beautiful country.
Fast Forward to 2016 as well as our next stop where we explored the main city and landed up at the headquarters of South Africa’s democracy, the Union Buildings. South Africa famously took control of it’s democracy in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected to power.
The last stop on the list was Constitutional Hill, home of the Constitutional court. South Africa has one of the best constitutions in the world and that means as South Africans we’re privvy to a lot of rights and freedoms. Knowing and understanding the constitution, helps all South Africans to lead better lives.
Of course Heritage Month is not complete without having a braai with friends to celebrate our diverse cultures and shared heritage on Heritage Day, the 24th of September.
Thanks to Ford South Africa for the cool campaign; Dawn Robertson from Constitutional Hill for arranging access and Janine Muthusamy for your help as well as for the accommodation. Thanks also to Neil for the assist.