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'Bulawayo Day must be celebrated'

by Staff reporter
02 Jun 2023 at 06:41hrs | Views
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube has said Bulawayo Day must be celebrated as it recognises the city's heritage and cultural diversity which should be used to promote social cohesion.

The city yesterday commemorated 129 years of being declared a town in 1894.

The commemorations were held in Makokoba suburb at Stanley Square, one of the country's community national heritage sites.

Addressing delegates during the commemorations, Minister Ncube said Bulawayo Day enables the city to celebrate social and cultural expressions.

"As we recognise the heritage and cultural diversity of the city of Bulawayo, the identity of the city of Bulawayo dates back to the arrival of King Mzilikazi who came to Bulawayo in 1840. Hence the celebrations are anchored on the rich history, heritage and legacy," said Minister Ncube.

"It is a great honour that we are commemorating Bulawayo Day because it symbolises that we value our culture and heritage as residents of Bulawayo. It is crucial that we recognise Bulawayo Day as it seeks to provide a platform of social and cultural expression through the celebration of our diversity."

She said Bulawayo Day should also contribute to the city improving social and cultural cohesion among residents.

Minister Ncube said the day also recognises places of significance especially to the liberation of the country.

"The modern city of Bulawayo takes pride in the narrative of its liberation struggles, places such as Makokoba, Stanley Hall, McDonald Hall in Mzilikazi speak to the genesis of the liberation struggle, places such as Emkambo where genius skills ranging from traditional crafts and herbal knowledge are showcased," said Minister Ncube.

She said Bulawayo can monetise cultural tourism while shaping narratives through creative and artistic performances.

"The culture and heritage of the City of Bulawayo keep the people going. It also shapes our narratives which builds respect for each other. Ukuze sihlonipheke there should be something unique about us, inhlonipho and ubuntu we need it and Bulawayo is a key enabler which reshapes and allows us to reimagine Bulawayo beyond now," she said.

Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni who was represented by his deputy Councillor Mlandu Ncube said Bulawayo Day recognises collective development, since the arrival of King Mzilikazi.

"Our celebration of Bulawayo Day is anchored on our rich history, heritage and legacy. As a city, we recognise that the rich cultural heritage of Bulawayo does not start on the 1st June but is anchored on the arrival of King Mzilikazi and the Ndebele nation in 1839 and settling of the Ndebele people," said Clr Ncube.

"We recognise the leadership of King Lobengula who set the site for the present day Bulawayo and set it as his capital and personal kraal. We therefore, celebrate this day in remembrance of who we are as citizens of Bulawayo; that is our identity and our rich culture."

He said Bulawayo Day celebration is a precursor to Bulawayo Arts Festival whose aim is to promote the arts, culture and heritage sector, by providing incubation, support and promotion of the creative industries.

He said the arts sector is key to attainment of Vision 2030 and Africa's Agenda 2063 and the city will continue to support its growth.

"We need to grow the arts sector and heritage as an industry in itself. The city thus continues to support the creatives through various council spaces. We have our youth centres where artistes are free to come forward and use those spaces for the purposes of economic emancipation and growth," he said.

Clr Ncube said the public should also visit some of the city's tourism sites including the National Art Gallery, Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, the Jairos Jiri Association, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Old Bulawayo among others.

Source - The Chronicle