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Matabeleland Culture Day in the UK

by Simingenkosi Nkala
04 May 2018 at 20:11hrs | Views
We caught up with the group Bambanani Association which is based in the UK, in Hastings and they had an interesting development to share with us. They are organising a Matabeleland Culture Day in the United Kingdom and they are inviting all Matabele nations to this inaugural event. They encouraged all different ethnic groups from Matabeleland to come I number to showcase their cultural wares, but also to display their other services which they offer to their various communities in the UK, it could be business, performing arts,  etc.

Present in the studio for the interview was Dr Ralph Mguni who manages the education portfolio for Bambanani, Nick Sibanda who is the Chairperson of Bambanani; Christopher Maphosa the very person which the theatre play called The Rain that Washes is based, Dave Carrey is the author of The Rain That Washes and Ashley Driver is actor of the play.

After the introductions Dr Mguni then introduces us to an interesting development that they are working on. They are seeking to introduce a day called The Matebeleland Culture Day which will be hosted in Hastings East Sussex on the 2nd of June 2018.

 The aim of this day being the revival of the strands of culture of the Matebele which in his words the people are losing.

 UK hosts quiet a sizeable community of the Matebeles from Zimbabwe therefore became a befitting location to use for this culture event.

On the day a play called The Rain That Washes is set to be the highlight of the event. Written by Dave Carrey who however basically gives all the credit to Christopher Maphosa whom he says is the heart of the tales that led to the penning of the play. He says the tales, conversations and experiences of Christopher are what prompted him to take an account of such events and create a play. It is a collection of the experiences of this man growing up in Zimbabwe or rather before and after Zimbabwe was born, his experiences as a part of Dr Joshua Nkomo's movement and the transition of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. Dave terms himself an interpreter rather than an author of the story.

Dr Mguni encourages people to just come in and experience for themselves especially the play which is an amazing show performed by Ashley Driver who apparently does justice to the tale. He assures that it is certainly something to look forward to as he has seen it before, actually many times before.

Christopher Maphosa also had a few things to share with us. He feels that it is important to indicate that the play is a tale of the history of torrid times in Zimbabwe.The quest for the liberation and the time immediately after independence of the country was a difficult time which should always serve as a mirror or a reflection point for current and future leadership that if they are still subjecting people to the same hardships then they must know they are committing a crime, he said.

The actor himself who was present at the time of the interview feels that its a great honour to be playing this role as he says it is bigger than himself as an actor and a person. Not being of a Zimbabwean descent being a big learning curve for him but he enjoys the representation and portrayal of this character.

Dr Mguni who assured of regular updates on the build up to this event also added that looking at this narrative of the history of the people it is important for people to always look into that mirror Maphosa was stressing on and ask themselves is this what we fought for?

In conclusion he said part of the difficulties experienced in and by the current generation is lack of touch with their culture. He said the present generation has nothing to look up to, hold onto or to be proud of as a people. Quoting Bob Marley he got to know where you are coming from to know where you are going...

"Our culture has undergone an unprecedented attack alongside the deliberate deprivation and persecution of our Region; Signs of revival are evident everywhere, what with the efforts to bring back our monarchy and make the people know who they really are; Our revival poses no threat to anyone; instead; a people at peace with their culture" said Dr Mguni.

Source - Simingenkosi Nkala

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