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Umkhathi, Ezimnyama headline Byo Culture Week


Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya
Famed dance groups including Umkhathi, Ezimnyama and Shining Stars are set to headline the Bulawayo Culture Week celebrations taking place at Nyathi Youth Centre (Mpopoma) on May 22.

This year’s celebrations will run under the theme “Consolidating Cultural Identity, Diversity and Heritage” with other provinces also set to exhibit their rich cultural diversity in a bid to find a common ground with other cultures all over Zimbabwe.

The national launch of this year’s Culture Week commemorations will be held on May 20 in Mashonaland Central at Nyava High School in Musana (Bindura Rural).

There will be several cultural exhibitions at the school from May 20 to 26. National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Bulawayo Provincial Arts manager, Charity Nyathi said preparations for the celebrations were at an advanced stage.

“There’re several cultural exhibitions that we’ve lined up for the celebrations and the participating groups are hard at work rehearsing for the big day,” said Nyathi.

NACZ communications and marketing officer, Catherine Mthombeni encouraged Zimbabweans from all communities to rally behind and support the culture week.

“Culture Week is an opportune time to promote and showcase the diversity of the Zimbabwean cultures. NACZ is encouraging communities at whatever level to come together, celebrate and enjoy their respective cultures in unison,” said Mthombeni.

“Some of the activities that will be paraded during the week-long commemorations include street marching by artists and cultural activists, fashion shows, music and dance performances and herbal medicine, art and craft exhibitions.

Mthombeni said this years’ theme had been designed to spur communities to cement their respective cultural practices while strengthening the nation’s diversified cultural traits that make Zimbabwe a dynamic cultural nation.

“Culture is identity and culture in its diversified format fosters co-existence, harmony and peace. Zimbabwe as a cultured nation is proud of its national identity.

“In Zimbabwe, chiefs play a pivotal role in the safeguarding, preservation and promotion of cultural norms and practices that inform the nation’s spirit of Ubuntu/Unhu. With the celebration of Culture Week and its growth over the years, it is time to take stock and build on whatever the country has attained so far on the culture front,” said Mthombeni.

The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by Unesco in 2001 proclaimed May 21 of each year as the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

She said cognisant of the phenomenal growth in popularity this World Day has enjoyed, NACZ decided to make this occasion a weeklong event hence the existence of the Culture Week.

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