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Matabeleland Culture Day in the UK interesting developments

by Simingenkosi Nkala
28 May 2018 at 23:09hrs | Views


All roads lead to Hastings in East Sussex this weekend as the Matebeleland Culture Day curtains roll up. A group known as the Bambanani Association made up of folks from Matebeleland gave birth to the idea. They say here in the UK they have come to realise that they are slowly losing the strands of that which makes them who and what they are which is their culture.

They have found it prudent therefore to start in their small way with this event dubbed Matebeleland Culture Day to address this need for revival and hopefully it turns into a journey not just an event. It is an event which promises to be the ultimate curtain raiser as far as the culture of the Matebele is concerned. Saturday the 2nd of June set to be this milestone achievement day in this journey.

We caught up with the Secretary for Administration in the Association Mr Thulani Nkala who shared some interesting things with us. A lot of people tend to confuse what Ndebele or Matebeleland is so we asked him for his view. "Matebeleland is a geographic area currently situated in the South West of Zimbabwe consisting of many ethnic groups and Ndebele is not a clan, lineage or a cut out group of people bearing Ndebele surnames but an amalgamation of different ethnic groups", he said in his clarification. This day primarily zooms in the aspect of unity of all these groups and deliberately focusses on the significance of the Matebele culture.

Questioned on the current build up to this day which is now only a few days away Mr Nkala said we are so excited, everyone is excited. The build up is massive and the confirmations that we have received from people who are coming to witness this event is very encouraging. We are so grateful to have a team of people so dynamic and so talented and we are very confident that this day will be a resounding success, he added.

Mr Nkala said the rightful place for this event to be taking place at will be Matebeleland itself however quickly adding that any place that has any people from Matebeleland living, it should have this event and day. He pointed out places like South Africa, Botswana and nations surrounding Matebeleland. They as Bambanani are not only hoping for the roll out of this day to everywhere but for it to turn out to be an annual event.

Questioned on what his take was on politicians who try to cash out on the misfortunes and problems of the people in Matebeleland he said it is very unfortunate that these politicians only remember that there are people living in Matebeleland particularly during electioneering times. The reality being that they only want to hoodwink the Matebeles into believing they are genuinely interested in solving their problems when all they want is the mandate of the people to be in office.

"This misrule and misrepresentation is a result of people giving their mandate to these people", he said. In continuation he said the people of Matebeleland need to tap into that which unites them as a people. He said buying into this system which dehumanises them is an attempt to survive but they need to rise, re-organise and live despite the fact that since 1980 they have been denied opportunities of life by the government of the day.

On this day people are to look forward to a number of things ranging from cultural workshops, art workshops, sculpture workshops, speeches from extra ordinary Matebeles etc. Taking centre stage will be a play called The Rain That Washes. This play is about the experiences of a gentleman named Christopher Maphosa, it shows what transpired during the liberation struggle towards what is now called Zimbabwe particularly in the region of Matebeleland and the brutality of the government of the day in Zimbabwe post independence against innocent masses in a genocide termed Gukurahundi which saw masses of this Matebele people slaughtered. After the event there will be a communique that will be coming out to show how people are mapping out  their way forward.

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Source - Simingenkosi Nkala

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