‘Preserve culture to enhance local tourism’

A boy entertaining the crowd during the hut painting contest

THE organiser of the My Beautiful House hut decoration contest held in Matopos last week said locals should engage in more cultural activities to preserve cultural norms and promote local tourism.


A boy entertaining the crowd during the hut painting contest

Speaking to Newsday Life & Style after the event, Veronica Attala said locals, especially those who reside in the southern region of the country, should take up tourism as a business.

“The southern region of Zimbabwe is rich with culture and heritage. If preserved well and taken care of, these areas such as Matopos can contribute to the economy of the country as it brings in local and foreign tourists,” she said.

It is also important for locals to preserve and always perform their cultural practices. The young ones should be taught about their culture as they grow up so that it’s passed on to future generations.”

The competition, held in partnership with Amagugu International Heritage Centre in Matobo, saw over 205 participants who made their houses in different shapes and designs vying for different categories such as the best interior, exterior, the biggest house, the smallest, types of material used to paint, the oldest and youngest decorator among other disciplines.

Winners walked away with prizes such as bicycles, wheel barrows, tools, shovels, hoes, water tanks, blankets, pots, cups, among other things that will help them in their day to day business.

The competition, which has been going on since 2014, has played an important role in rural Matobo in promoting domestic tourism and preserving cultural and heritage practices.

Every year after harvesting, the people of Matobo, particularly the women, paint the exterior of their huts with intricate designs using charcoal, ash, water and soil. When the rains come in summer, the frescos steadily wash away and they re-paint again in winter.