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Zimbabwe, Zambia celebrate cultural beauty

Life & Style
She Glows Africa Magazine, a local platform that celebrates the brilliance and power of African women, hosted a cultural exchange banquet in Harare, which was meant to highlight the shared cultural heritage and historical connections between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Festivals have over the years turned out to be the bedrock of fostering a deep appreciation of the complexity of culture. However, in the absence of such, cultural exchange programmes bridge the gap.

The recently held cultural exchange banquet between  Zimbabwe and Zambia is significant in fostering and strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries separated by the Zambezi River.

She Glows Africa Magazine, a local platform that celebrates the brilliance and power of African women, hosted a cultural exchange banquet in Harare, which was meant to highlight the shared cultural heritage and historical connections between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The banquet, which came barely four months after She Glows Africa Magazine hosted prominent Zambian media personality Mutale Mwanza, was graced by arts and sports personalities, government officials and media personnel from both sides of the Zambezi River.

Alice Tagwira, who is the founding editor of She Glows Africa Magazine, said the cultural exchange programmes were an opportunity for the people of Africa to appreciate and celebrate their respective cultural identities by showcasing people’s unique traditions, customs, music, dance, cuisine and art forms.

“The She Glows Africa cultural exchange initiative represents an opportunity for formidable women to share their experiences, expertise, and stories of triumph,” Tagwira said.

“It is a chance for them to connect, learn from one another and forge lifelong bonds that transcend geographical boundaries.

“Together, they will embark on a journey of discovery, exploring the rich cultural heritage, traditions, and history that Zambia and Zimbabwe have to offer.

“Through this exchange, we hope to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diversity that exists within our beautiful continent

“As a female CEO and a passionate advocate for women's rights, I stand before you unapologetic about my activism.

“I firmly believe that every woman has the right to be heard, to be respected, and to have her dreams nurtured and supported.

“Throughout my journey, I have witnessed first-hand the transformative power of collaboration and the incredible strength that lies within women supporting women.”

Tagwira, who is also a musician, said gender equality remains an ongoing struggle and it was imperative that women rally together and champion their rights across Africa and beyond.

“By unapologetically advocating for women's rights, we challenge the status quo and inspire others to join us in this noble pursuit,” she said.

“We refuse to be silenced and we will continue to fight for equality, justice, and opportunity for every woman.”

Retired boxer Charles Manyuchi, who made a name on the global boxing scene under the tutelage of Chris Malunga of Oriental Quarries in Zambia, paid tribute to the Zambians.

“Our nations share a bond that transcends borders and I have personally been a beneficiary of the Zambian spirit of hospitality,” he said.

“As a budding boxer, the affection and support I received in Zambia were instrumental in my growth. I was embraced so wholeheartedly that many believed I was Zambian and indeed, my reputation there outshines my fame in my homeland.

“Today, as a proud Zimbabwean, it brings me great joy to give back the generosity you have shown me. May your time in Zimbabwe be filled with the same warmth and kindness you so generously showed to me.”

Manyuchi said women have contributed to the shaping of the cultural landscape in a big way.

“Women’s talents in artistic forms have captivated and inspired audiences worldwide. Yet, women continue to face challenges such as gender biases, stereotypes and a lack of representation,” he said.

“I believe it is crucial to support and amplify the voices of women in these industries. By providing equal platforms, resources, and opportunities, we can empower women to express themselves freely, share their unique perspectives and contribute to the enrichment of our artistic and cultural heritage.”

Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture deputy minister Emily Jesaya said the two countries share a lot in common, culturally.

“Zambia and Zimbabwe share a rich heritage, characterised by diverse traditions, language, music, dance, and visual arts,” she said.

“It is through events like this banquet that we can showcase the beauty of our respective cultures while forging new connections and collaborations.

“By celebrating our similarities and embracing our differences, we strengthen the bonds of friendship between our nations.”

She said culture was the lifeblood of any society, hence the need to foster cultural exchange programme.

“Through the fusion of artistic expressions, we have formed a bridge that connects our nations, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation,” Jesaya said.

“This collaboration has shown us that art knows no boundaries, and it has the power to transcend differences and bring people together.”

Zambian representatives said the cultural exchange programme was meant to get to know each other. They felt the two countries share a lots in common.

“We as Zambians and Zimbabweans share a lot in common; we are one, even in language, games and other art forms,” said one Zambian artist.

“The cultural programme was meant to embrace diversity, but the bottom line is we are one.”

Tagwira said her organisation will hold a series of cultural programmes, particularly with women drawn from various African countries.

She said She Glows Africa Magazine also aims to highlight success stories and showcase African women who would have overcome challenges to achieve to succeed.

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