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City of Kings turns 128

by Staff reporter
02 Jun 2022 at 06:45hrs | Views
Today is a big day for Bulawayo as the city celebrates 128 years of existence.

Residents from the city are expected to celebrate their cultural diversity and declaration of Bulawayo as a city through various events that have been lined up.

Bulawayo City Council Senior Public Relations Officer Nesisa Mpofu said: "Today is a very special day for Bulawayo as it's the day that we celebrate Bulawayo Day. On the 1st of June 1894, the city of Bulawayo was established as a town and on the 2nd of October, 2019, the city meeting resolved to declare the 1st of June as Bulawayo Day and subsequently, the 2nd to the 5th of June as Bulawayo Arts Festival (Baf) Week."

She said Bulawayo Day is a celebration of arts, creativity and mainly, a celebration of unity.

"We are grateful that the city of Bulawayo has a rich historic and cultural heritage because of our predecessors. Bulawayo Day is key because as a city, it allows us to celebrate our identity, culture, values and also who we are. It is a celebration of arts, creativity and a celebration of unity.

"Bulawayo is a cosmopolitan, metropolitan city and province and as such, we have a diversity of cultures, tribes, beliefs and values. Through Bulawayo Day, it is the city's belief that these forms of diversity can unite and build the Bulawayo we want."

To celebrate the day, Mpofu said various activities have been lined up at Inyathi Recreation Centre *Mpopoma) and Sekusile Hall in Nkulumane.

"As a city, we've partnered different partners and stakeholders that have come on board to celebrate with us including artistes and creatives.

"To celebrate at Inyathi Recreation Centre, various arts groups who include Bambelela Arts, Ezimnyama, Khayisa, Sungura Masters and Simunye Simunye are billed to perform."

At Nkulumane Hall at Sekusile, residents will be treated to performances from Ramsey K, Prosper Tshuma, Mandy Mae, Umkhathi Theatre Works, Western Khazins, Dalu the Comedian, Oxide Kids, Thandy Dhlana, Bolamba Culture Birds, Iyasa, Simunye Simunye, Maluka and Nduza.

"These performances will start at 8am with the public set to watch them for free."

One of the coordinators of the Nkulumame event, poet Desire Moyoxide said: "Bulawayo Day is every residents day to celebrate the Bulawayo brand with pride. Together with Nkululeko Nkala  we have coordinated with fellow artists and other partners to celebrate the big day."

Moyoxide said the event will run under the theme "SinguBulawayo' (we are Bulawayo)".

"We want to share the idea of ‘Love Bulawayo', which is a space that seeks to restore the pride and love for the city of Bulawayo. Today's celebrations and activities seek to promote change and a instil a positive attitude for the city.

"It seeks to allow citizens to envision what they want the city to be and define the values that govern the city towards the realisation of inclusivity, diversity and local economic development," said Moyoxide.

Mpofu said the Bulawayo Day and Baf are key in supporting the city's creatives.

"As a city, we value the participation of stakeholders in building the Bulawayo we want, particularly the creative industry because as Bulawayo, the Baf thrust is an arts, culture and heritage structure that allows us to promote the creative industries through incubation, support and promotion. It also boosts the creative economy through creatives that participate. As the cultural hub of the country, it is our hope that the creative industry will become a key sector in the local economic development strategy of the city."

She went on to invite the city's residents to also explore other ways of celebrating the day.

"We may celebrate as individuals or groups but this is our city. Let's continue to support this."

As part of the celebrations of the city,  Mpofu said a Young leaders conference will be held on Saturday.

"We'll bring in junior parliamentarians and junior councillors as well as heaboys and headgirls from the city's schools to interact and be imparted by strong business leaders that are attending the conference. We hope the speakers will instill, not only leadership values among the youth, but also be able to point them in terms of career guidance," Mpofu said.

Meanwhile, Mpofu has said this year's Bulawayo Arts Festival will not be as profound as last year's, "largely because of the prevailing economy."

In 2019, the Bulawayo Cultural Affairs Office and Nhimbe Trust lobbied the Bulawayo City Council to declare June 1 the day of Bulawayo, and council acceded to the request. The day has been celebrated since then.

Source - The Chronicle