Posted on November 19, 2019

The South African Embassy brought Qatar’s diverse community together at a fun-filled Ubuntu Bash, Heritage Day Bazaar, with support from Sasol, the international integrated chemicals and energy company. Other key contributors to this highly anticipated event included the community group South Africans in Qatar, SDI Marketing, Turkish Airlines, Nando’s, and Al Jassra Group.

The well-attended event, held on Friday, November 15, celebrated South Africa’s Heritage Day and brought special guests, celebrity chef Jenny Morris and renowned singer-songwriter Jimmy Nevis to wow the crowds at Doha Sports Park. Jenny Morris, known affectionately as “The Giggling Gourmet,” showcased her culinary expertise with live demos and kids’ cake decorating competitions, and challenged visitors to mystery box cooking challenges. Jimmy Nevis closed the day’s abundance of family-friendly activities – which included an impressive Harley Davidson parade – with a rousing live performance.

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South African Heritage Day is a great way to showcase ubuntu, a humanist philosophy associated with Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, which means “I am because we are.” This kind sentiment, which encourages everyone to care for their fellow man or woman, was highlighted throughout the event. Visitors were able to discover more about the diversity and cultural wealth of South Africa through food, music, and playful sporting activities such as walking football. Faizel Moosa, Ambassador of South Africa to Qatar, said: “We’ve built upon the success of last year’s event, which creates social cohesion for African communities and Qatar’s wider society. Today we welcomed a number of Ambassadors from across Africa to this South African event and hope to create a larger African Ubuntu for the future. This will enable countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia to showcase their customs, traditional clothing and food, and give Qatar a taste of the diversity of African cultures.”

Speaking of the success of this year’s event, Chris Molefe, President of Sasol in Qatar, said: “We’re delighted to welcome so many different communities from across Qatar to this annual South African event. We aim to ensure that ‘Ubuntu’ is felt by everyone who attends. We have gone to great lengths to extend our activities and provide a welcoming environment for all. We are proud of South Africa’s vast cultural diversity and keen to celebrate the way it has shaped our nation.” Visitors also had the chance to explore a wide variety of South African culinary delicacies from stall sellers offering favourites such as bunny chow (curry in a loaf of bread), boerewors rolls (South African sausage), koeksisters (a dessert), bobotie (a dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping) and Zulu and Xhosa dishes. South African restaurant chain Nando’s also served up their celebrated peri-peri chicken.

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Tracy Muller, South African community Leader in Doha, said: “The South Africans in Doha community group have been long entrenched with various community events and especially close ties with the supreme committee for delivery and legacy. Through their support, we have been able to bring together our community at the Ubuntu bash. We are so proud to showcase our heritage and culture to all people and communities living and working in Doha. We were also able to showcase football through the SCs footballs and watching how kids and adults united and enjoyed themselves by just having a football at their feet.”

The Ubuntu Bash, Heritage Day, is organised every year to celebrate and remember the cultural heritage of the many nations that make up the population of South Africa. Heritage Day’s events are a powerful tool for spreading a united South African identity, fostering reconciliation, and promoting the message that diversity is a national asset.