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Joshua Nkomo celebrations light up Hillbrow Theatre, Johannesburg

by Staff reporter
09 Jul 2017 at 08:02hrs | Views
Zimbabweans in South Africa last week were treated to a night of musical extravaganza in honour of the late vice-president Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo at the Hillbrow Theatre, Johannesburg.

The event, which was organised by Matabeleland Entertainment News, was meant to celebrate the life of Father Zimbabwe as part of festivities to mark the 18th anniversary of his death.

The fifth edition of the celebrations was a potpourri of arts, bringing together various artists.

Mongezi Mpofu, one of the organisers of the event, told The Standard Style that Johannesburg came alive when hordes of Zimbabweans based in South Africa converged at the Hillbrow Theatre for the event which started on Saturday afternoon and ended on Sunday morning.

The annual event is now popular among Zimbabweans based in South Africa.

"Thousands of Zimbabweans based in South Africa gathered and celebrated the day with us. The event kick stated with music from gospel artists Ebenezer and Nombeko Khahlela before it was officially opened with a prayer and the Zimbabwe national anthem," he said.

He said the gospel outfits set the stage ablaze and were followed by Dumisani Nleya whose performance was breath-taking. His act was focused on the life of Father Zimbabwe.

Joshua Nkomo Foundation chairperson and family representative Jabulani Hadebe, former Zipra commander Andrew Nyathi, family representative Ellen Nkomo, businessman and executive coach Pastor Acts Aota and Kingdom Blue Funeral Service CEO Brilliant Ncube were in attendance and gave speeches.

Hadebe gave a motivational speech in which he spoke of the values espoused by Father Zimbabwe and encouraged Zimbaweans to preserve his legacy.

"If Father Zimbabwe was to wake up from his sleep, what would he say? Will he be happy? Will he be angry? What have we done and what lessons did we learn from this great man? He dedicated his whole life to freeing blacks from white domination and he remained loyal to the struggle though he was betrayed by some people whom he taught politics," Hadebe said.

"Umdala Wethu joined politics at a young age and today's youth should emulate his footsteps and help in the building of a prosperous Zimbabwe. We must not be foreigners in our country and we have the responsibility of fixing our nation. It is time for elders to step aside and let the youths take charge."

Mpofu said the Umdla Wethu memorial gala was graced by artists of all kinds whose performances were meant to unite Zimbabweans in South Africa.

Some of the dances included isitshikitsha, ingquzu and buKalanga gwamuka traditional dances.

Traditional performances came from Tedzani, Brave Khuphe and Intombi Zosiko. Thabo Arts scintillated the crowd with their dance performance called "Irabi" while on the other hand Bekezela Nkomo did a cover version of Lovemore Majayivana's Umoya Wami, much to the delight of the crowd. Imbizo Messengers had everyone on their feet as they danced along to imbube.

Two Joshua Nkomo Leadership awards and the Matabeleland Entertainment News Entertainer Par Excellence award were presented. Man of the moment Mothusi "Madlela" Ndlovu, who scooped three awards at the recent Bulawayo Arts Awards, walked away with the Matabeleland Entertainment News Entertainer Par Excellence accolade.

Michael Sibangilizwe Nkomo was rewarded for his role in preserving and safeguarding the Umdala Wethu legacy, so was Daniel Molokele who got recognition for his activities as a pro-democracy human rights lawyer. Both received the Joshua Nkomo Leadership awards.

"Father Zimbabwe was a symbol of unity and through such community initiatives, we unite and conscientise our people on ubuntu, take pride in our identity wherever we are in the world and preserve our heritage and history that make us who we are," Mpofu said.

The event was supported by Kingdom Blue Funerals Service, which provides Zimbabweans based in South Africa with funeral insurance.

Some of the artists who took part at the event included Amachwane Amahle , Zinjaziyamluma, Amabhukudwana, Amafika Amahle, Igqishamnkantsha who did isikokotsha, Dubia Masters and Tshabanda Mapoko as well as Chase Skuza.

Nkomo died on July 1 1999 at the age of 81. He was buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

Source - the standard

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