The 5FM's 5 Drive Heritage Tour reached its high point on Saturday, Heritage Day in the country. The show's host, Nick Hamman explains why heritage is so important and why we should celebrate it.
Image supplied. The 5FM’s 5 Drive team on the Heritage Tour
Why a Heritage Tour? What makes Heritage, and Heritage Day so important?
It might be seen as cliché, but how can we know where we are going without knowing where we came from?
5FM’s 5 Drive Heritage Tour is aimed at putting South African heritage in the spotlight, unpacking it in all its diversity, looking at how far we’ve come, showcasing the great things, and also asking questions about how we can do better.
The tour brings about a re-realisation that heritage is made up of many different things: music, culture, food, personal style, family traditions, spiritual beliefs, what sports team you support, where you went to school and varsity and whom you shared it with, your choice of career, the identity that you and your friends have, the perspective that you have on the world and the stories you share, to name only a few.
Heritage is not just one thing, but various nuanced bits coming together and making up the DNA of who we are as individuals and a group of South Africans. It echoes over many generations, and we stand on the shoulders of our forefathers - those who were crafting our heritage long before we came to be. Heritage is the cornerstone we build our futures on.
Heritage Day is a celebration of the beautiful, rich and diverse cultural pot that South Africa is. It offers us a moment to reflect and, maybe, more importantly, to choose the tools and materials that we build our and future generations’ heritage with.
How are you engaging all listeners, not only English-speaking listeners to the Heritage Tour?
Simply put? Food!
We have spent extensive time researching the foods from various regions in SA and looked at the languages in specific regions as a springboard into culture and dishes.
A great many of 5FM’s listeners aren’t English mother tongue speakers and this brings an amazing depth to the range of people we meet on the tour. There’s no better way to unite all of them than around a food table – be it on-air or physical.
It’s the perfect conversation starter that opens the door to all of our other conversations and content, consistent with our motto to create tables where everyone who is young at heart is welcome, where everyone is heard and respected, and where everyone has a genuine interest in others at the table, where everyone has an awesome time… and Nobody wants to leave!
Why is important to engage the youth on the tour?
A nation’s youth can make or break it, especially in challenging times. We see it as our responsibility to give them a voice, engage with them, inform them, answer their questions, learn from them, inspire them, challenge them where we need to, equip them and connect them to others who share their dreams… all in order to build a better South Africa, one small step at a time.
The youth are doing a million other things while they are listening to the radio and it’s our job to grab their attention and to keep it. One of the best ways to do that is to physically take radio to the places where they spend most of their time.
Who knows, in a couple of years we might have an influential businesswoman, a political leader, an inspirational author, a famous celeb, a Nobel laureate or even the most average Joe doing amazing things in his community reflecting on that time they had a life-altering sit-down with 5 Drive!
How are you bringing heritage and its importance to the youth through the tour?
It all comes down to translating the various elements of heritage into bite-sized, easily digestible, but impactful pieces of on-air, online and social media content.
One key to not making it “just another Heritage hoo-ha” is placing emphasis on content that is relatable, topical and that our listeners like to engage on.
We are actively looking for points of reference for high school and varsity students and then expanding on that – something that has seen some phenomenal engagement.
What have been some of the highlights of the tour so far?
Each place we’ve visited has its own charm, and its own beautiful gems and every person we’ve encountered has something unique and insightful to share.
Amazing scenery, buzzing student culture, well-preserved heritage sites, artefacts and museums, a sense of gentrification without losing the history, an influx of international travellers, and locals who take massive pride in their towns.
The one thing that stood out for us, interestingly enough, was an orderly, but passionate protest in a small town called Britstown.
Young people were protesting the use of alcohol by young mothers. This kind of activism in a small town - a step in bringing about life-saving change - gave us renewed hope in the power and immense potential of the South African youth and reminded us how important it is to visit these hidden treasure towns.
What is the message that you would like listeners to remember about the heritage Tour?
Our country may have its fair share of problems, but the youth in SA are not only aware of them, but also able and willing to jump in, get their hands dirty and practically do something to fix them! That’s important to acknowledge.
What is the heritage of the Heritage Tour?
Part of the heritage of the legends of broadcasting who came before us is that they would put in as much work as it took, go to great lengths, face serious hardship, take risks and even put themselves into some very hairy situations to make world-class content.
It’s our privilege to honour that legacy and that broadcasting heritage, to do exactly the same, to push the limits even further and make sure that the product we put out is second to none!