Early preps for My Beautiful Home competition

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA

ORGANISERS of the annual My Beautiful Home competition said preparations for this year’s event were on course to avoid the poor planning challenges faced in last year’s edition.

The programme that has been running for about six years is meant to see Matabeleland people modernising their homes, keeping the traditional taste and making use of natural pigments to improve their homes’ outlook.

Competition vice-chairperson Clifford Zulu told NewsDay Life & Style that the programme was organised by a committee dedicated to revitalising homes in a traditional way.

“My Beautiful Home is an annual competition run by a committee composed of Ekhayagayika which is the fundraising arm of the committee, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo which is the regulation arm and Amagugu International Heritage Centre Matopo which is the cultural adviser,” he said.

“The competition runs in seven wards in Matopo district and it’s managed by co-ordinators who are coming from the region. We had a planning meeting last week, we looked at the criteria and some other rules that we want to introduce and also look at some of the challenges that we faced last year in organising the competition within the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Zulu said for this year’s competition, they wanted to increase the number of competitors by 200.

“Last year, we had about 800 participants coming from these wards and we are targeting about 1 000 entries for 2021. From the challenges that we faced last year we are now formalising by presenting criteria that will help the competition to judge it better, so that we don’t have similar problems that we got from last year. Some of the notable challenges were obviously the judging criteria which people felt was not fair,” he said.

“This year we are improving the competition by laying out the conditions of participating. For instance, each homestead must have a kitchen built from traditional materials and the painting must be done using natural pigments, hence that’s what we are doing to improve on that.”

Zulu said competition prizes mostly come from some of the bigger companies in Bulawayo.

“The competition engages the corporate world in Bulawayo to support and these are the companies which already have a market within the districts. We also have well-wishers who support the organisation’s operations in terms of fuel, meetings and venues. Those are the fundraising donors that support the competition,” he said.

“We want to see more people joining the competition because it is something that will expand into the future to other districts within the Matabeleland region. We also want to see the revitalisation of this art form, painting huts using natural pigments, and traditional architecture.”

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