It was a hive of activity at various joints yesterday as Zimbabweans from all walks of life joined the rest of the continent in commemorating Africa Day.
Africa Day is observed annually to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which was created on May 25, 1963. It is the precursor of the African Union (AU).
To mark the day, activities were lined-up across the country, with citizens expressing gratitude to the selfless revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives and personal comforts for the liberation of the people of Africa.
Traders specialising in African attire said they recorded brisk business during the week as many people were buying African attire to create general clothes specifically to wear yesterday while others wanted to wear them on what is now known as “Roora Day”.
“Roora Day” is the day when a man pays lobola for their girlfriend but apart the lady’s parents accepting the money, a colourful ceremony is also held with almost all attendees wearing African attire.
Places like KwaMereki in Warren Park D and Mashwede Village in Highglen, Harare, had many revellers, some downing the wise waters while others were braaing with their families as part of the commemorations.
Mr Hillary Katsvairo from Warren Park D said Africa Day celebrations allow the continent to reflect on its achievements and explore opportunities of improving where they come short.
“We have heroes in Africa who are not given the acknowledgement they need. Today we are having a great time as a family, remembering the unity of purpose among African countries,” he said.
Mr John Mhembere of Glen View 3 said he was celebrating Africa Day in recognition of Africa as an independent continent.
“This is our independence as Africa so we must celebrate our culture as proud Africans. Unfortunately, I do not have an African attire but I am proud to be African and will always be proud of my identity,” he said.
Mrs Joyce Shayamano of Highfield, Harare, said Africa Day was about celebrating the continent’s various cultural identities.
At Mashwede Village people were having a great time with their families, having lunch and fun. Mrs Emily Mutomberwa said she was happy to be celebrating Africa Day with her family.
“We came here to have a day out as a family remembering our African identity. Today, we are not having home cooked dinner, we are going to have a braai here then go home later. We are proud to be African,” she said.
In Chitungwiza, members of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe gathered here at Seke Teachers’ College to commemorate Africa Day.
Pastor Vongai Jawi, who leads the St Mary’s congregation said: “As members of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe from Chitungwiza and Harare to do sporting activities such as netball, among others, to motivate each other in upholding and spreading the Word of God.”
Pastor David Mugadzi said they saw it fit to join hands as various Reformed Church groupings to celebrate Africa Day through fellowshipping and engaging in sporting activities like athletics, volleyball and netball.
“There are also activities for children such as jumping castles and others. All this is aimed at bringing people together because as Africans, we are one people, one Zimbabwe, one Africa. The Word of God teaches that it is good for kinsmen to live in harmony as one family. Through sport, therefore, our objective is to preach peace, love and harmony,” he said.
A congregant, Mr Gift Mazhindu, said the objective of their gathering was reflect on “where we came from as Africans, so that our children are well-informed on their identity and history through outdoor activities”.
“As the custodians of our cultural morals and values, it is our duty to impart knowledge to our children about their culture, history of liberation and identity. Even though we may be facing challenges, we are stronger together, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We should always support each other as our leaders in Africa have always advocated since 1963,” said Mr Mazhindu.