Be proud of your culture, govt urges youths

Zimbabwe National Arts Council

THE Harare Province Culture Month launch and celebrations were held at Mufakose Area A Community Hall recently and NewsDay Life & Style was there and could not help but admire melodious singing of the national anthem which was accompanied by the Harare Municipal Police concert band’s wonderful performance.

It was enthralling to watch enigmatic acts by Elysium Magna and Poetry Slam; a spirited performance from little known Hofi Band and House of Arts, an engaging poetic toast from veteran broadcaster and author Aaron Chiundura Moyo; a thrilling Glen View 5 Primary School Amabiza Dance; tribute to Soldier Jah Love by True Bantu Band; a stunning and highly demystifying act by Maramuro Gure Dance from Dzikwa Trust; and a welcoming collaborative act from Mufakose Arts Platform and plenty others.

Catharine Kampila, who was the guest of honour on behalf of Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti, described the launch and celebrations as a memorable event that should continue as long as resources permit.

In a short engaging speech, Kampila said the culture month celebrations were designed to broadly showcase Zimbabwe’s cultural diversity, adding that  the country’s youths should take pride in embracing the richness of their culture.

This year’s culture month was celebrated under the theme Celebrating Cultural Diversity and Peace.

“I feel greatly honoured and privileged to be part of this momentous occasion where we are gathered to celebrate Zimbabwe’s rich and diverse cultural heritage,” said Kampila. “This is a very important occasion indeed, because culture describes who we are as Zimbabweans among the community of nations. It portrays our being as a people and indeed our collective psyche.”

Kampila highlighted that government accorded the Culture Month commemorations its blessings in order to fully celebrate the diverse cultural activities in Zimbabwe, be it fashion, economy, housing, food, literature, music or dance, among others.

Frank Porte, European Union head of co-operation in Zimbabwe said the Zimbabwe National Arts Council and the European Union supported the celebration of the country’s rich cultural diversity.

Expressing great excitement over his maiden visit to Mufakose or Mfombi as the township is affectionately known, he said: “I am happy to be here today, among the youth, women, children and men of this beautiful suburb known as Mufakose. I just learnt that Mufakose is affectionately called ‘Mfombi’ and that it is home to renowned artists like Mzimba, the Nyau dancers and sporting giants such as Khama Billiat. Undoubtedly, it is a vibrant and culturally rich community.

“The European Union is proud to collaborate with the National Arts Council because we recognise that appreciating cultural diversity is crucial for sustainable development, peace and social cohesion. Beyond celebrating and enjoying diversity, we must also do our best to preserve and promote it. Embracing our cultural diversity helps us understand our unique identities and makes it easier to embrace our differences, whether they are economic, political or social.”

National Peace and Reconciliation Commission spokesperson Obert Gutu noted that artists and youths can provide solutions to peace and tranquillity through soft diplomatic messages based on good citizenship and cultural pride.

Filmmaker Angeline Domingo, who heads the Zimbabwe Female Arts Practitioners Platform was among the exhibitors who included OK Zimbabwe, Ruvimbo Funeral Service, Zimbabwe College of Music, Music Crossroads Academy, Seke Teacher’s College, Thelma Boetric’s One Culture Gallery and many others.

Through an engaging and entertaining poetic toast, veteran broadcaster,playwright and novelist Chiundura Moyo lamented lack of pride in Africanism among Zimbabwean youths.

“Everyone in the arts industry is, in one way or another, a teacher and isobliged to lead by example on the moral teachings he or she preaches. Every piece of art must uphold a traceable good teaching aspect on statesmanship and good citizenship and without this we risk leading people astray,” he said.

Hofi Band and House of Arts manager Diana Vito said her band was primarily based on the socio-ecological model of health which speaks to internal and external struggles.

Hofi staged a scintillating performance of songs Nhemamusasa, Nhekwe, Dhikondo and Culture Jingle.

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