BY SHARON SIBINDI
SOUTH Africa-based Matabeleland Entertainment News (M.E.N) is set to stage this year’s edition of the annual Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Celebration through arts at the Berea Charles Gorchel Park (Mtshangani Park) in Johannesburg on July 28.
The seventh edition of the celebrations will run under the theme I Am Because You Are, and will see Mehluli Moyo from the Joshua Nkomo Cultural Movement gracing the event.
Mongezi Mpofu, the organiser, confirmed the developments to Southern Eye Life & Style yesterday.
“We will be celebrating the life and good works of our fallen hero, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. The event is part of the ongoing 20th anniversary commemorations, which we will celebrate through music, cultural dances, poetry and many more,” he said.
“The event will include the Joshua Nkomo Legacy Walk, speeches from different representatives, among them the Umdala Wethu Dance group. Every year, on the last weekend of the month of July, we bring together Zimbabweans in the diaspora under the banner of celebrating the life of Nkomo through the arts.”
Mpofu said he was happy that people had come together in support of the movement.
“When we started this movement, it was so difficult because some people, if they are in the diaspora, tend to shun Umdala Wethu festivals and other commemorations. But then, when we are here in South Africa, we see the people here (in South Africa) celebrating Mandela Day —they forget that one is Xhosa or Zulu and become one. Now, we as M.E.N, by celebrating this day, look forward to having a similar thing happen to our people – becoming one and united,” he said.
Mpofu said he was happy that some local business people and companies had come on board to support the movement.
“We have a responsibility to safeguard our values, traditions and identity. We want to transform lives and people like the late Father Zimbabwe and our fathers and mothers, sacrificed a lot for our beloved Zimbabwe. Their efforts must not go in vain and, therefore, as a generation, we need to pass these values of Ubuntu to the next generation,” he said.
Mpofu said the event would give Zimbabwean cultural ambassadors based in South Africa and Zimbabwe an opportunity to educate the people and motivate them to take pride in who they are.
The event, sponsored by Kingdom Blue Funeral Service, will see several artists perform imbube, isitshikitsha, poems and traditional dances.