Nick Hamman unpacks highlights from the 5 Drive Heritage Tour

Published Sep 29, 2023


As Heritage Month draws to a close, Nick Hamman unpacked the 5 Drive team’s recent heritage tour, which has become an annual event.

On their road trip, they explored the hidden gems, discovered remarkable stories and engaged with the locals for a full cultural experience.

Hamman answers a few questions on the iconic 5 Drive Heritage Tour below:

The 5 Drive Heritage Tour has become an annual calendar event. How long have you been doing it, and what do you enjoy most about this tour every year?

I initiated the Heritage Tour in 2017. Back then, it was a more rudimentary version of what it has evolved into today. However, its essence has always remained intact - a month-long road trip during Heritage Month, dedicated to celebrating the people, places, and hidden gems that make South Africa exceptional.

Every year, I strive to understand what South Africans most desire to see from their country.

The team was game for any adventure on the 5 Drive Heritage Tour.

This year, we recognized a collective need for stories of hope, driving us to embark on a journey to uncover incredible tales of remarkable individuals accomplishing extraordinary feats.

The true delight lies in meeting these exceptional people and conveying their stories, which truly define our nation.

How do you and the team decide on the destinations/places?

Choosing destinations is a dynamic process. Hosting a drivetime show like ours means you and your team are constantly tuned in, seeking ideas and collecting stories. Sometimes, serendipity plays its part.

This year, for example, during a post-Springbok game Uber ride in Klerksdorp, our driver recognized us and suggested we meet a man in the local township who had initiated a music development program within the community.

Intrigued, we followed his suggestion and stumbled upon one of the most impactful stories of our tour.

Our philosophy centres on the idea that the energy you project attracts corresponding experiences. If you loudly proclaim your search for South African excellence, you're likely to discover it.

Which place/s held special memories on this tour?

There are too many to enumerate, but one standout memory was meeting Vuyelwa Sineke, overseeing a children's home in Mbombela.

Her life journey, from being abandoned and enduring life on the streets to working odd jobs, including domestic work, to finance her studies, showcased remarkable resilience and compassion.

She conveyed a powerful analogy: in life, you encounter thermostats and thermometers.

Thermometers measure the temperature, but thermostats have the ability to change it. She emphasized that to make a difference in life, we must strive to be thermostats.

Food is an integral part of SA's heritage and forms a significant role in food tourism. Could you tell us about the cuisine you enjoyed on the tour?

I always revel in experiencing South Africa through its diverse cuisine. This year was no different, from indulging in chisa nyama at taxi ranks in Newcastle to relishing Gatsby's at Golden Dish in Athlone.

I returned from the tour, admittedly, needing a more forgiving belt!

A particularly special experience was our visit to the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine in the Midlands, where we had the privilege of meeting the founder and her students.

The team enjoyed meeting new people on the 5 Drive Heritage Tour.

We feature a segment on our show called "The Mzanzi Mashup", where we take classic dishes and infuse them with a uniquely South African twist.

During our visit, we challenged Jacki to reimagine pizza, resulting in delightful combinations like biltong, boerewors, and chakalaka toppings.

Now, no travel trip is without a few hiccups. Did you experience any of those, and how did you and your team navigate those setbacks?

Believe me, orchestrating a national radio show during stage 6 load shedding while needing to connect remotely in the middle of the Karoo is not without its challenges.

There were also days when we drove for 4 hours before realizing we had left our microphones at the previous hotel. Yet, I am proud to say my team is world-class, and we unfailingly rally and devise a plan to ensure the show goes on air.

When you think of the best heritage spots in SA, please share your favourites and why they stand out for you.

The best approach is to commence in your hometown. Even after 7 years of traversing South Africa, I feel as though I've only scratched the surface.

To be honest, the diversity in South Africa is truly remarkable. You can traverse the highvelds, lowvelds and tropical and Mediterranean climates, all while experiencing vastly diverse cultures, each with its unique histories, languages, and culinary delights.

If you're passionate about travel, there's likely no better country in the world to explore and immerse yourself in.