We walk for unity and acceptance

On Sunday 26 March Brand South Africa, Constitution Hill and other stakeholders including the Gauteng Legislature and the City of Joburg took part in We, the People Walk event. Its aim is to promote constitutional awareness and reinforce unity and ubuntu.

Weaving through the streets of Johannesburg, the crowd spread the message of tolerance and unity at We, the People Walk event on Sunday 26 March 2017 at Constitution Hill. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)

Mathiba Molefe

Despite the cold weather on Sunday morning 26 March, We, the People Walk event got off to a lively start with people of all ages and nationalities arriving at Constitution Hill.

Brand South Africa together with Constitution Hill and a host of other stakeholders including the Gauteng Legislature, City of Johannesburg, the Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARN SA) and SAFM, brought the fourth annual We, The People Walk event to life.

This partnership forms part of Brand South Africa’s ongoing effort to promote the nation brand along with its values of constitutional awareness, unity and ubuntu.

“Today is very significant for us as the custodians of the nation brand,” said Toni Gumede, the strategic relationship manager for government at Brand South Africa.

“The values of the nation brand include tolerance, and that is what today is about. It also includes unity in diversity.”

People of all ages and Nationality converged on Constitution hill to encourage constitutionalism in all who call South Africa their home. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)

The walk, a demonstration of unity amongst all that live in South Africa, was aimed at promoting tolerance amongst everyone who calls the country their home and serves as a call to eliminate xenophobia.

“Today we want to stand together and say, we affirm this constitutionalism and that everybody has a part to play,” Gumede explained.

Following a quick warm-up and opening remarks by MC and actor, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, the crowd set off on a walk through Johannesburg’s inner city.

People then branched off on the various routes: a one kilometre, a five kilometre or an eight kilometre for those felt like taking in more of the city’s scenery.

This year’s walk was the fourth instalment of the annual event and was attended by more than 2 000 people looking to celebrate diversity and to promote tolerance amongst everyone living in South Africa.

People brave chilly weather on Sunday 26 March 2017 at Constitution Hill to take part in We, the People Walk event. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)

Jeanny Morulane, the general manager of marketing and communications at Constitution Hill, said that she was very pleased by the number of people who attended the event.

“This is a very important event,” Morulane said. “Because we’re remembering our Constitution, we’re celebrating our Constitution at a very relevant space here at Constitution Hill.

“We were very pleased with the turnout. It was a mix, a representation of all of South Africa, all races, all colours, all nationalities. So it was a really nice gathering for everyone.

“It’s showing that our democracy is indeed getting firmer.”

South Africa’s Constitution, considered by many as one of the most progressive in the world, values freedom of choice and encourages us all to strive for greatness while respecting and valuing cultural and linguistic diversity.

In order for South Africa, and indeed Africa as a whole, to fulfil its extraordinary potential we all need to come together and work towards a common goal. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)

Stand up and be counted 

“It’s about you, it’s about myself, it’s about your neighbour, it’s about every single person playing their part to do the right thing,” Gumede said.

“Today is really about doing the right thing and embracing that which is the foundation, not only of our democracy, but the foundation on which the South Africa of today was built.”

In order for South Africa, and indeed Africa as a whole, to fulfil its extraordinary potential we all need to come together and work towards a common goal.

It is for this reason that Brand South Africa calls on everybody living in South Africa to play their part in maintaining a society that values the rights of those who call the country their home.

“Unity becomes more meaningful and more powerful when we acknowledge our differences,” Morulane said.

“Our differences are what make us such a beautiful collective.”

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.