Fungisai relishes ambassadorial role

BUHERA - Gospel musician Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave is determined to use her position as the ambassador of Matendera National Monument to put the legendary Buhera stone structure into the limelight.

The gospel musician, who visited Matendera last week, is convinced that the national monument will help uplift the lives of the people of Buhera if it is well-marketed.

“It is an honour to have been appointed ambassador and I am excited as it comes as an opportunity to create employment for many people over time,” said Fungisai in Bangure Village where the national monument is located.

The Makomborero singer is particularly keen to help artistically-gifted women in Buhera make the most of their various talents.

“For me, it is also a call to motivate my fellow women and Vahera. I am looking forward to working with everyone particularly women. Women need to show their creativity,” she said.

“There are many women artistes in Buhera who can come and utilise the curio shop at Matendera National Monument so as to maximise their chances of being noticed by art lovers.”

The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and Buhera Rural District Council (BRDC), who bestowed the ambassadorial role on Fungisai, want the celebrated gospel star to promote the national monument as a must-see tourist attraction.

BRDC acting chief executive officer Emily Chibvongodze is hopeful that Fungisai will be able to bring the spotlight on the ancient stone structure situated approximately 50km south east of Murambinda Growth Point that closely resembles Great Zimbabwe.

“We want to promote tourism to give us proceeds to develop the surrounding community which is steeped in poverty,” Chibvongodze said.

The gospel artiste is also expected to publicise the forthcoming Matendera Festival slated for August. The annual cultural festival, to be held at Matendera Monument, is a celebration of the heritage of the people of Buhera (Vahera).It will showcase dances such as Jaka as well as drama and poetry.

The rural district council boss believes Fungisai’s  ambassadorial role would be much more effective if she gets assistance from prominent personalities originally from Buhera who include  presidential spokesperson George Charamba, Net One boss Reward Kangai, former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, former Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, prominent Mutare lawyer Misheck Mugadza and War Veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba .

NMMZ archaeologist Njabulo Chipangura told the Daily News that Matendera Monument, believed to have been constructed between 1600 and 1800 A.D, is the biggest of its type in the district. The other sites similar to Matendera in Buhera are Muchuchu, Chironga, Makumbe, Kagumbudzi and Chiona.

 

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