Inside Sony Music
- A Sense of Belonging on Heritage Day: Embracing Diverse Cultures at Sony Music
- Oct 03, 2023
Sony Music Africa celebrated this day with Sony Music, artist, songwriter and producer Ringo Madlingozi, Tanzanian Hip-Hop artist Young Lunya, and artist Daniella Daniel, known as Morravay from Nigeria.
Every year, on September 24, South Africa celebrates the rich history, traditions, and multifaceted cultural heritage of the “Rainbow Nation.” Originally known as “Shaka Day,” South Africa’s Heritage Day, is a moment to acknowledge the many various communities by embracing diversity and promoting respect among different ethnic and cultural groups.
This year’s theme was Belonging, and employees came dressed in their cultural and other relevantly themed attire that showcased their diverse identities—including Ringo Madlingozi— who celebrated 27 years in the industry and had his catalogue made available on streaming platforms the same day. This contributed to fostering an inclusive environment for each individual while providing a space for everyone to learn about different cultures and cultural affinities and have the opportunity to highlight who they are—authentically without judgment.
“Our Diversity and Inclusion committee planned this day to highlight ‘belonging’ as a focal point of this year’s celebration,” said Chenayi Mukaro, Head of People Experience. “It was important to the committee to emphasize being your authentic self and encouraging everyone to take time to understand each other and their backgrounds.”
In a show of celebration and participation on this special day, employees came dressed in their cultural attire that represented their ethnic backgrounds or their chosen cultural association. From delicate African cuisines that symbolized the culinary journey of foods from various cultures and scenes to personal speeches prepared by employees to express what ‘Heritage Day’ means to them, this bridged a connection and helped showcase how diversity plays a greater role in creativity at Sony Music Entertainment.
“[This] event allowed an opportunity for us to meet each other at a point of realness. I did not know that a simple event and cultural clothing would bond us as a Sony Music family. I am aware of who I am culturally, I am an African with a South African culture. I felt respected and honored,” said Caroline Morabe, Label Manager. “Let’s enjoy how we appreciate each of our diverse cultures. Africa is amazing and we are here to make sure that the Sony vision is realized.”
Read an employee speech in celebration of ‘Heritage Day’ from Digital Services and Partner Manager, Blessing Manafa, from Sony Music Nigeria below:
Have you ever noticed that the same of two things never make a new thing?
Have you ever noticed that new experiences don’t ever really come by doing the same routine?
Have you ever wondered why it takes a mix of red and blue – two completely different colors to make purple?
Imagine a world where only reds existed – this means the beauty of purple could never have been born nor experienced.
Thankfully, we do not live in such a world. Our world is full of reds, blue—all unconsciously tasked to, with interacting in various capacities, to birth “purple.”
By “purple” I mean new experiences, fresh perspectives, alternate angles to the same picture.
To speak plainly, everyone here symbolizes a red or a blue and it is our responsibility to create purple ourselves fully realizing that without the rich, bright, and unstoppable red or the wonderful, calm, and powerful blue – we can never have purple.
This means all that makes us who we are, all that has contributed to where we are from indeed has a place here.
Meaning “here” ought to be a place where our unique stories and backgrounds – our heritage – do not take a back seat. Instead that very heritage becomes the catalyst that creates the purple in our relationships within and outside our work environment.
Being a Nigerian born from two major tribes – Igbo & Yoruba, I can tell you that I have come to appreciate and value firsthand the beauty of diversity, and this has led me to the conclusion that we are indeed all pieces of the same whole.
A whole that can never be seen and fully appreciated without its individual parts.
Happy Heritage Day – keep creating wonderful purple experiences!
Scan here to listen to Certified Heritage, the event’s official playlist consisting entirely of artists from Sony Music South Africa.
The Certified Heritage playlist artwork was created by Maria Hadjidimitriadis, Strategic Catalogue Marketing Manager, Sony Music Entertainment Africa. “This artwork was inspired by our rich cultural diversity and passion for our music,” says Maria. “The cover artwork is depicted as a quilt which is pieced together using traditional prints, each representing a different ethnicity across Sub-Saharan Africa. The golden thread holding each print in place, represents the music that brings our diverse ethnicities closer together, and this playlist is made available through the Sony Music Entertainment Africa localized Legacy catalogue division, Certified Africa, the first official CERTIFIED curator on Apple and custodian of our unique genre-blending music catalogue for Hip-Hop, R&B, Kwaito, Gospel, Amapiano and Afrobeats.”