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Kalanga festival returns after Covid-19 induced break

by Staff reporter
25 Nov 2023 at 07:43hrs | Views
AFTER a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Luswingo Kalanga Cultural Festival is set to make a comeback next month. The festival, which celebrates the rich and diverse culture of the BaKalanga people, will be held on December 22, which coincides with the Unity Day.

The festival aims to unite and educate people of BaKalanga origin who reside in Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and other countries.

The festival, which started in 2014, is held at the Luswingo heritage site in Tokwana, which is located 36 kilometres north of Plumtree town. Luswingo, which means stone walls, is a historical place that was once the home of a royal family and a strategic settlement of BaKalanga in Bulilima. The site exhibits the architectural and engineering skills of the early civilisation, and is valued in the Kalanga history.

The festival attracts thousands of people who gather at the site to share historical stories, showcase traditional artefacts, and display their talents in dance and song, among other things.

The festival also features historians who narrate the folklore and history of BaKalanga, and schools that participate in cultural activities and competitions. The festival also offers a walk around the site and the nearby river Thekwane, which is also known as Netu.

The festival's media liaison officer, Difa WaJapi Dube, said that the event was postponed from its usual date in August to December to accommodate more people, especially those from the diaspora. He said that the event was not only a social gathering, but also a learning platform for people to understand the culture, value and history of BaKalanga.

"This is not just an event of just going there but an event of going there understand the culture of BaKalanga, the value of being BaKalanga and history of BaKalanga in much generality. We will invite historians to folktale and also schools so that our culture lives within the future generation," said Difa.

Difa said that the festival had faced some challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which claimed the lives of some of the key players and sponsors. However, he said that they had managed to regroup and secure some support from the local MP, Hon Dingumuzi Phuti, who promised to donate a cow for the event.

Difa also said that the festival was a tribute to the prominent personalities from Plumtree, who had contributed to the liberation struggle, politics, academics, arts, media, business and sports. Some of them are the late Professor Callistus Dingiswayo Ndlovu, Simon Khaya Moyo, Ambassador Zenzo Nsimbi, Addington Lutho Tapela, Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu, Dingumuzi Phuthi, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, the late Obedingwa Mguni, Andrew Tapela, the late Nicholas Nleya, Mthulisi Ndlovu, Zenzele Ndebele, Mkhululi Ncube, Nqobile Malinga, the late Paul Nkala, and Fiona Bhakajuju Tshuma.

The Luswingo Kalanga Cultural Festival is a unique and remarkable event that showcases the resilience and creativity of the BaKalanga people. It is a platform that allows them to express their identity, culture and pride in a positive and joyful way. It is also a way of educating and engaging with other nationalities and cultures, and promoting mutual understanding and respect. The festival is a celebration of BaKalanga and their people, and a reminder of their roots and values.

Source - The Herald