Centre to preserve cultural heritage

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MATOBO — In a bid to preserve community cultural heritage, a newly formed arts and culture organisation, Amagugu International Heritage Centre, has put up a traditional homestead in the Matopos area.

Prominent historian Pathisa Nyathi, who is the organisation’s executive board chairperson, yesterday told journalists and schoolchildren during a tour of the facility that the centre will “demonstrate to local and international visitors that we also had and still have skills that could be used on a daily basis”.

Nyathi said the centre which currently has people skilled in basketry, pottery and carving will establish a museum to preserve art and cultural artifacts.
“Unlike other museums, ours will allow people to touch and feel the historical and cultural products being exhibited. We will have items such as Ndebele headgear being exhibited in our permanent collection,” said Nyathi.

Visitors to the homestead, which resembles a typical Ndebele homestead, will also have the opportunity to take part in a number of activities that include traditional domestic chores such as fetching water with calabashes. “We want people who come here to learn about our culture while participating in various activities that are offered,” Nyathi said.

Indigenous trees within the centre have not been tampered with. He added: “Visitors will learn a lot about these trees and their various cultural uses. We also have other plants, especially those that were used in traditional medicines.” Nyathi said.

Schoolchildren would benefit immensely from the centre as they would learn about a host of arts and culture issues that will assist them in their studies.