Next weekend will see the streets of Durban transformed as the Indoni Festival takes over Dr Pixley KaSeme Street and Durban’s city hall. The precursor to the Miss Indoni pageant that takes place on the 15th December, the festival celebrates local culture showcasing the best of African food, fashion and music.
Established in 2011 br Dr Y.N. Mthembu, Indoni SA is a non-profit organisation that aims to bring about behavioural change in the youth through a variety of programmes that celebrate African heritage. The Nguni name, Indoni, references a black berry, with the the saying “Indoni yamanzi” used to refer to a beautiful young woman, who has pride and dignity. But the Indoni programme isn’t just for young women:
When we started, we were doing girls only, but we realised that these are the same girls who live in the same environment as boys, so let’s also groom the boys.”, Dr Y.N. Mthembu
The Miss Cultural SA pageant is the culmination of a year long programme, which includes the Indoni Cultural Schools that take place during the school holidays. Twelve camps are organised across nine provinces, celebrating South Africa’s indigenous cultures: Ndebele, Swati, Zulu, Pedi, Tshonga, Venda, Khoisan, Sotho, Mpondo, Xhosa, Thembu and Tshwane. The participants in the pageant are all attendees of the schools, which now include both girl and boy learners.
Indoni can boast several success stories, says Dr Mthembu, speaking of hearing young people greet each other in Khoisan, a group of languages that’s almost extinct. The organisation also receives great feedback from parents and teachers who are impressed with the difference that the programme makes in the behaviour of the young women:
Because we have introduced the child to herself, she loves herself, and wants to do better; they become more motivated to become something better.”,Dr Y.N. Mthembu
The 2018 Indoni Miss Cultural SA will be held on the 15th of December at the Durban ICC Arena. Tickets for Miss Cultural SA can be booked via www.webtickets.co.za. For further information about Indoni please visit the organisation’s website.