BY NIZBERT MOYO
MY Beautiful Home (MBH) project is bringing smiles to the people of Matabeleland provinces, who are partaking in a number of projects to empower them in various capacities.
The project, which is meant for Matabeleland people to modernise their homes in a traditional way by making use of natural pigments, is being sponsored by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, Amagugu International Heritage Centre and Ekhaya Gaia.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Ekhaya Gaia chairperson Veronique Attala said they were happy with the number of participants for this year’s edition of the My Beautiful Home competition.
“We registered 721 participants for the seventh edition of My Beautiful Home competition. This is a success for the competition considering that women are still busy harvesting in Matopos because of the good rainy season,” she said.
“This year, we are lucky to have been granted funds from the Culture Fund in partnership with the European Union, plus the generous contribution of the French embassy. We have been able to reward the 721 participants with ploughs, water tanks, wheelbarrows, solar equipment, trees, beehive boxes, chicks, various pots and kitchenware.”
Gaia said in partnership with the Forestry Commission, they were developing small-scale businesses that include planting and looking after fruit trees, training women to make and sell eco-stoves, beekeeping training and how to produce and sell honey.
“We want villagers to have a better understanding of their culture and traditions by explaining the symbolism behind all the decorations on the huts, thanks to one of the founders of the project, our internationally-acclaimed writer and historian Pathisa Nyathi,” she said.
“We are also developing sustainable tourism in the Matopos that will benefit the local community. We are encouraging foreigners to stay overnight as a villager, to cycle around the decorated huts and we want to train rural schools to take an active part in this.”
She said photographs that would be used to rank the homesteads would be shot at the beginning of August and given back to the participants after the adjudication process.
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