On Sunday, 23 September, we celebrated Heritage day at church. It was our second heritage day at Every Nation Ruimsig.  We moved to Jozi for this church and the church with all the people in it – became family. God knew exactly where to place our little family and He has provided for us in every single way.

My favourite part of how heritage day is celebrated at church is of course… THE FOOD! Imagine having a peek (and a taste) into the gastronomical favourites of a vastly multicultural community.

I wrote and shared a piece as a part of worship. It is a deeply personal one, which is why I am sharing it here.

Translation below…

Herkoms (1)

All Afrikaans bits in the original piece have been translated into English (in Italics). 


Heritage        by Ilze Gopal

“I know you.”

He whispers.

“I see you.”

He tells me.

“I choose you”

He reminds me

His word is a promise that has been fulfilled years ago.

A man with an old guitar is sitting on the plains. 

He is singing koortjies.

The same koortjies that his grandma sang to him on the same plains.

Who is He that is walking on the water?

It is Jesus, The Son of God. 

These plains – This land has only been good to him. 

This land has only been good to us all, 

Because it belongs to the Lord

and it is consecrated to Him. 

Touch Him when He passes you by, 

It is Jesus The Son of God. 

A single mother drives with her two daughters.

She prays that the petrol will be enough to get them to school.

She is praying to a God who has seen her desperation.

Bend me lower Holy Spirit, lower down at Jesus’ feet.

Till my body, soul and spirit, be a sacrifice complete.

Great is thy faithfulness

All I have needed, Thy hand has provided.

Don’t doubt any longer

Trust the Lord

He never disappoints. 

Trust in the Lord, 

And don’t despair

He is a friend so true to you. 

You are my treasure Lord!

You are my vision!

Today, our entire country will be reminded of their heritage.

Be it culture or tradition.

Food or clothing.

What went through your mind when you chose your outfit for today?

Did your mind float back to memories of old?

Was it difficult or easy to choose the culture that you wish others to see?

It has always been a challenge for me.

My eyes, hair and complexion do not always fit into one box.

I am a medley of cultures, thought processes and love,

My bones and blood are inside a yellow complexion.

My thoughts are embraced by a crown of kroes curls.  

My Father made me this way. 

My Father has placed me here. 

An African.

And if you find yourself on this continent – in this land – Be Ready!

The ground you are on is His holy ground!

Our heritage is one of prosperous peace, attainable abundance.

We are seeds planted in this land.

To bring forth fruit in its season.

We are grafted into the King of kings. 

Ruler of rulers!

Warrior of warriors!


Koortjies – Short simple hymns that are often repeated.

Kroes – Previously derogatory term used for very curly hair.

Both of these terms are very familiar with coloured people. Which is why I chose not to translate them. Kroes koortjies! It has a poetic ring to it!


Author: Ilze Gopal

I write because I have no choice in the matter.....

One thought on “Herkoms”

  1. Exquisitely written – it is the pain that drives the most talented people. Some of s out here think we suffer, but most of us do not know the half of suffering. God uses those who knows how others feel, deep down inside. God Bless you and your family.

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