Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
Preparations for the annual Culture Week commemorations, which will run from May 18 to 25 in all the country’s 10 provinces under the theme “African Royalty-Our Heritage’’, are at an advanced stage as the organisers have released the events calendar.
President Mnangagwa will officiate at the national launch, scheduled to take place this weekend at Glamis Arena, Harare.
In Bulawayo, the provincial celebrations will be held on May 22 at Entumbane Hall. Masvingo (Murambakuzara Primary School, Chiredzi) celebrations will be held on May 23, while in Matabeleland North the celebrations will be at Shaba Culture Village, and in Tsholotsho on May 24.
The Midlands celebrations will be at Ruchanyu Primary School; for Shurugwi and Matabeleland South the celebrations will be at Inyandeni Culture Centre, Gwanda South.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) acting communications and marketing manager Cathrine Mthombeni said preparations for the commemorations are at advanced stage.
“Some of the activities that will be paraded at the official launch include a cultural procession, music and dance performances, fashion show, art and craft exhibitions and herbal medicine exhibitions.
‘‘The National launch is being organised by The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.
‘‘After the national launch, the celebration of diverse cultures being held under the theme “African Royalty – Our Heritage” will be taken to all the country’s provinces,” she said.
Mthombeni said this year’s theme is a clarion call to everyone to pay homage to the Zimbabwean way of life, which is espoused through the food we consume, our language, our arts and our traditional leadership.
“The week-long programme’s theme is ‘African Royalty – Our Heritage’. The uniqueness of Africa’s heritage is akin to royalty, which in itself is a birth-right. Zimbabwe is home to many diverse ethnic groups, cultures and languages, thus, possesses a rich and varied tradition, history and heritage,” she said.
She said that the day is designed to promote, commemorate and celebrate the world’s diverse cultures.
“In commemorating this day, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, thus, extended the commemorative days to effectively inculcate a deep and effective love of our culture,” she said.
However, the culture week has contributed to the establishment of culture centres that are a benefit to communities.
“Part of NACZ’s vision in championing arts development is the establishment of culture centres that are not only for protecting and safeguarding our tangible and intangible heritage, but are also viable. The viability of culture centres has ensured sustainability to benefit every generation as skills are continuously passed for posterity,” she said.
Globally, Culture Week is celebrated on May 21 during the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development as proclaimed by the United Nations.