Culture Week launch moved to Gwanda

HARARE - Culture Week commemorations launch that was scheduled for Harare on May 19 has been moved to Gwanda on the same date.

The Culture Week will run from May 19-25, 2018 and preparations are on course in all provinces.

“Culture Week National launch that was scheduled to be held at Harare Gardens on May 19, 2019 will now be held in Matabeleland South in Gwanda at Bolamba Village on the same date. The national launch closing ceremony celebrating Africa Day will be held in Harare at Harare Gardens on May 25, 2018,” said Cathrine Mthombeni, the acting communications and marketing manager of National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz).

The week-long programme in fulfilment of the 2005 convention seeks to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.

“Culture Week will be punctuated with varied activities that express cultural heritage of humanity, augment and transmit through the different cultural expressions by using diverse modes of creation,” Mthombeni said.

The national official Culture Week launch is a national event coordinated by Nacz and implemented by the hosting province in which this year it is Matabeleland South and last year Mashonaland Central at Nyava High School in Bindura Rural.

“The launch marks the beginning of the celebration of the importance of cultural diversity throughout the country through various cultural and artistic expressions. Some of the activities at the official launch will include art and craft fair, traditional dances, contemporary performances, praise poetry, music and herbal medicine exhibitions.

“This year a children’s programme is also scheduled for children to celebrate by playing games that include jumping castles and painting,” she said.

This year’s Culture Week theme is “Culture: A Tool for Building Communities” signifying identity and a true sense of belonging.

“Culture binds communities, binds nations and ultimately binds the entire world though diverse in nature and practice. Countries are united by a common consciousness whose national expression is laid bare by culture.

“It is culture that rightly defines a people, a community and ultimately an entire nation. Zimbabweans are known in a community of nations primarily because of cultural traits,” she said.

The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by Unesco in 2001 proclaimed May 21 of each year the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

“Cultural diversity is a defining characteristic of humanity that when cultivated and respected can create a well-developed nation. It nurtures diverse human capacities and values and in the process promotes national growth that fosters unity and identity.

“In commemorating this day, countries are encouraged to celebrate the uniqueness of diverse cultures found in them as part of world culture. In addition, this day is intended to provide an opportunity for the flaunting of various cultural heritages that need to be preserved for posterity.

“Cognisant of the phenomenal growth in popularity this World Day has enjoyed hitherto, Nacz decided to make this occasion a week-long event hence the existence of the Culture Week every year,” Mthombeni said.

“Therefore, Nacz inaugurated Culture Week in 2002 after it discovered that one day was too short a period to leave an impact in people. In addition, artists found the one day not adequate to allow them to celebrate and display their works to the public.”

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