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John Nkomo Museum stalls due to funding challenges

by Staff reporter
25 Aug 2019 at 09:48hrs | Views
FUNDING challenges have stalled the completion of the John Landa Nkomo Museum located in Bulawayo City Centre despite work having started in earnest in 2016.

The museum, which is situated along Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 12th Avenue, is meant to document the life of the late Vice-President and immortalise his life's works.

Set up by the John Landa Nkomo Memorial Trust (JLNMT), the museum managed to set up structures and collected memorabilia of the late Vice-President but is yet to display and position the items to enable viewing by the members of the public.

VP Landa Nkomo died in January 2013 following a long battle with cancer. JLNMT chairman and son to the late Vice-President, Mr Jabulani Nkomo said once they secure funding they are ready to bring the museum to life by completing the remaining sections that are mainly on the display part.

He revealed they had been receiving enquiries from schools that wanted to tour the museum while members of the public also frequently walk in at the JLN Museum and Business Centre requesting to tour the place.

"It is still in our plans to complete the museum but at the moment we have funding challenges to complete the work that we started back then.

"But as you can see we have already set up the structures and we are left with just enlarging some pictures for display, enlarging part of his written history that will be displayed on the boards, setting up display shelves where some of the artefacts will be nestled," said Mr Nkomo.

A tour of the museum by this reporter on Thursday, a day the late VP was supposed to be turning 85, revealed display boards in place, structured in a way that would allow a seamless exploration of the exhibition.

Mr Nkomo said they want the museum to preserve the memory of the VP and keep his spirit alive while enabling it to be a store of national history that ordinary Zimbabweans can access and learn about.

"There are legacies that need to be kept and as a prominent person who played a huge role in the country's politics his history is intertwined with the liberation struggle and politics of the country thereafter.

"The museum will tell his life story in linear fashion as it documents his birth, early years, family life and then move to the time he engaged in trade unionism, a path that inevitably led him to the liberation struggle and thereafter showcased his life after independence in the various roles that he played in Government, Zanu-PF, the general political sphere and various societal roles he occupied. We need to propagate the peace mantra that he ultimately became known for and embodied as the VP.

"While it is not a very large space we believe it will provide adequate room to contain information that will be of national historical significance and be of value to those who want to learn about the country's history and also be valuable to researchers. I appraised President Mnangagwa of the challenges that we are facing as a trust and we are certain help is on the way."

The museum is also expected to add value to Bulawayo as a tourist hub, giving tourists another establishment to view when they visit the city.

Some of the artefacts expected to go on display once the museum is operational include volumes of picture albums that documents various episodes in the late VPs life including international tours he undertook in various ministerial positions that he occupied.

There are several photographs with eminent politicians that include one with late South African President Nelson Mandela, a memento of a man pulling a plough received from Agribank, several books that were in his library, a collection of briefcases and two doctorate graduation gowns.

Mr Nkomo said they are continuing with the other projects the Trust had initiated among them offering assistance to the San community that ranges from assisting with food, school fees and community development.

He said they are making plans to build dormitories at the Landa John Nkomo High School in Tsholotsho, a school the Trust has been nurturing.

The Trust is also working with reigning Miss Zimbabwe UK, Amanda Ngcono Nkomo who is expected back in the country to pursue various charity initiatives aimed at the people of Tsholotsho.

They also have an ongoing programme of teeth cleaning targeting various members of the Tsholotsho community that could have been potentially affected by underground water.

The dentist who has been doing the teeth cleaning is Dr Dudu Sibanda and the chemical they are using was donated by a team of dentists based in South Africa.

Source - chronicle