Bernard Muchemwa in SYDNEY, Australia
Zimbabweans in Australia are readying themselves for the mother of all Independence Day celebrations as Zimbabwe turns 40 on April 18.
This is a celebration of an enduring legacy, pride and joy. It will be organised by South Australia Zimbabwe Association (SAZA) based in Adelaide and chaired by Jason Midzi, a musician, reputable radio personality and also a Local Government of Australia candidate for Woodlands Ward, City of Marion.
Preparations have started in earnest this early to show the seriousness of the event.
Never has such an event been held in Australia and this will come as a welcome development to many patriotic Zimbabweans who have watched other foreign nationalities embrace and celebrate their nationhood in style.
Now it is their time to gather in multitudes from all walks of life, and all the four corners of Australia on Saturday April 18, 2020, at the African Village Restaurant Centre, 2A Northcorte Road, Torrensville, South Australia.
They have invited other nationalities to come and enjoy Zimbabwe’s culture and also share their cultural values with other guests.
Asked about the level of preparations for such a big event which is billed to surpass all other Zimbabwean gatherings in Australia and Adelaide in particular, Midzi said: “The Zimbabwe 40th Independence Day celebrations 2020 in Adelaide are taking shape. The tickets will go on sale soon. Please bring your friends and family to this big event. We will have live music and dinner.
“There will be some awards for members of our community who have been doing well in different sectors of the Australian economy, and also those who carried the South Australian flag representing Zimbabwe in different forums.
“We also invited our friends from ZICOSA to attend and also partner with us in delivering this big event for our community as a united people. We are also calling on churches, soccer clubs and other organisations to come and work with us.
“This is a multicultural night, so let’s bring lots of people to show them our culture and businesses. Musicians and businesspeople are also invited to join hands with us and make this day a shining success.”
Midzi said Australian government officials who include City of West Torrens Mayor Mr Michael Coxon, City of Marion Councillor Dr Joseph Masika and Assistant Minister to the Premier Jing Lee will attend. Zimbabwe Ambassador to Australia, Mr Joe Tapera Mhishi is yet to respond to the invitation.
Midzi indicated that the organising committee is happy to host the Ambassador or his deputy or any official should he be tied up with other commitments.
He outlined the importance of celebrating Zimbabwe’s independence in Australia.
“This is a selling point of our culture where we showcase Zimbabwean businesses in Australia, celebrate our achievements as new arrivals who are settling into this country, and celebrate the gains of our war of liberation, like education and other things.
“We would also be celebrating the social inclusion and mobility that Independence brought us as equal citizens of the world.”
Midzi revealed that Zimbabweans who are doing well in business, sports, arts and other sectors of the Australian economy will be given Excellency awards at the celebrations.
The organising committee of the Independence Day celebrations is made up of Midzi (chair), Shepherd Mutusva (secretary), Samantha Siziba (treasurer), Rudo Bhasvi (events organiser) and committee member Kudzai Nyamande.
Organisations supporting the event include Nokutenda Disability Trust, Divine Orchestra Music Ministry, Tagocha Smokers Grill and Apostolic Faith Mission.
Live music will be provided by Diversity Music Collective — Zimbabwe’s top band in Australia. Musicians and dancers from other countries will also perform.