Through our Heritage Lounge we like to share our wonderful history and heritage with our guests, so they can become just as excited and intrigued by how Camps Bay Retreat came to be, as we are.
South Africa is a multi-ethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution’s recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world. There are eleven official languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Fewer than two percent of South Africans speak a first language other than an official one. South Africa is truly a Rainbow Nation and we understand and embrace that. In our Heritage Lounge we try to depict as many cultures and histories as we can – we try to link each of these to a valued employee of Village n Life. This makes the cultural experience so much more personal and relevant.
German Heritage features prominently in the form of Mr. Knacke’s story and history. As seen in our history section, he was the original owner of Earl’s Dyke, and our guests always find it interesting to see how the property has progressed and changed – or in some cases stayed the same – from Mr. Knacke’s time.
Other heritages and explanations in our Heritage Lounge include Indian heritage, British heritage, Coloured heritage and Xhosa heritage. For each of these histories, we have chosen a staff member to represent and explain their background and heritage. Indian heritage features Caamil Latchman, our famous barman, British heritage features Robyn Copendale, our restaurant custodian, Coloured heritage shows Zeta Vlotman, our recruitment specialist while Xhosa heritage shows mama Sheila Bobe, our very best housekeeper.
Maree Brink, owner of Camps Bay Retreat, explains that the Heritage Lounge was born from the curiosity of mostly European, Malaysian and Indonesian guests, who would often wonder about their contribution to Africa. It is a natural inclination to wonder about one’s ancestors – the Heritage Lounge provides easy access to guests who are often too shy to ask about the different mix of cultures and heritages in South Africa. This is an interesting form of reverse ‘Root Tourism’, and increasingly we have found that with American tourists it works the other way around – they come to find their roots in Africa.
The Heritage Lounge reflects perfectly how the eclectic mix of our Rainbow Nation fits together – it celebrates South African culture and shows our guests how proud each and every South African is of his or her heritage.