South African President Ramaphosa hosts Singapore PM Hsien Loong in Cape Town

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa urged creative professionals to take a step forward to tell cultural stories for future generations about the past and present of the country.

In his weekly newsletter on Monday, Ramaphosa shared that South Africa's story is complex with "different perspectives and competing narratives," SA News reported.

He pointed out that "commitment to maintain peace" within the country and with neighbors and "preventing tribalism and ethnic chauvinism from sowing discord" between the groups is one of the most remarkable aspects of South African society today.

The president went on to share that even when there are acts of racism occurring in the country, these provocations are rejected by South Africans as they won't let them be used to exacerbate tensions in communities

"This eternal vigilance is born of bitter experience that has its roots in the political violence of the 1980s and early 1990s, and how South Africans worked together to overcome differences, pull our country back from the brink, and achieve peace," he said.

South Africa elected its first Black president, anti-apartheid activist and politician Nelson Mandela, in 1994. He won the first election with more than 60% of the votes. Before that, the country was ruled by the National Party, which had been in power since 1948. Founded in 1914, the party was disbanded in 1997.

"As we revel in our cultural pride and celebrate our roots with art, dance, cuisine, and music, we must remember that the struggle for peace and reconciliation is a vital part of our heritage," Ramaphosa said.

The president noted that the children born in a democracy are now able to speak proudly of their heritage because of the "peaceful democratic transition, which produced a constitution that guarantees rights and freedoms for all, including the right to express one's language and culture."

He emphasized that artists and cultural workers are able to freely work today without having a fear of getting banned, adding that these are "fruits of freedom" and "fruits of peace."

"With so many countries and societies around the world today beset by conflict, we are fortunate that the project of national reconciliation is ongoing and has not been abandoned," Ramaphosa added.

The president urged all the creative professionals to come forward and contribute to storytelling while praising the drama series, "Shaka iLembe," which is based on the journey of an African king's childhood to adulthood during the 1700s.

With the success of "Shaka iLembe," Ramaphosa asked local production houses to encourage local talents to produce more such work.