Mucheni Ngoma yaBuntibe Youngsters at VicFalls Culture week

The Young Ngoma yaBuntibe Group of Mucheni, together with five students from Binga High School, traveled to the Victoria Falls on 14th May to take part in the 2010 Culture Week Launch that was held at Chinotimba Stadium.

The Theme for this years culture week was “Zimbabwe`s Cultural Diversity at Thirty” referring to the thirty years of independence and the relevance of cultural diversity for the young nation.

The occasion was graced by The Honorable Governor of Matabeleland North, Mrs T Mathuthu, The Zambian Education and Culture officer, Mr Zimba, The National Arts Council Director and the Culture Fund Director, among others.

Taking part in the launch were in-school groups from the seven districts in Matabeleland North as well as some out of school arts groups such as Umkhathi Theatre group from Bulawayo, Black eagles and Idwala Elikhulu among others. The launch started with a procession by all the participating groups led by drum Majorettes, followed by the Binga district representatives and the rest of the in-school groups in alphabetical order. The out of school groups trailed the procession. A police vehicle was there to escort the procession all the way to the stadium for the launch.

There were speeches by the key stakeholders in the arts and culture field present and the Governor who encouraged all Zimbabweans to be proud of the cultural diversity in their country and to remember that “we are Zimbabweans, even in our dress”. She further went on to say it is not Zimbabwean for a married women to walk with her belly button exposed.

Other quotable quotes from the various speeches are:

“There is nothing minority about a peoples culture”. Mrs Mguni
“Abantu beZimbabwe banye, imihlobo yabo minengi, izindimi zabo zinengi, lamasiko abo manengi” The late Honorable Vice President, Dr Joshua Nkomo, quoted by The Honorable Governor for Matabeleland North, Mrs T Mathuthu. This can be translated to say: “The Peoples of Zimbabwe are one, their tribes are many, their languages are many, and their cultures are diverse.”

The Mucheni Buntibe group performed fairly well and the Binga High students presented a poem that was focusing on the lack of tolerance for cultural diversity in the past and how, ideally, in the future all cultures that are found in Zimbabwe will be accepted and respected by all.

There were various performances by the different groups present, including one from Zambia. There was a display of Tonga cultural artifacts from the BaTonga Museum. The Binga entourage was by far the largest as a total of thirty two students (27 Mucheni, 4 Binga High and 1 Manjolo Secondary) and twelve adults accompanied the performers. Other districts had a maximum of 16 students. It was after the Buntibe group performed that people came to appreciate the need for so many performers.
To broaden the scope of the Binga performers, a brief tour of the Falls was made, taking the group to the Victoria Falls bridge and across to the Zambian border after the launch of the culture week.  The Binga delegation traveled back to Binga on Sunday morning, 16th May2010, having left Binga on Friday afternoon, 14th May 2010.

The trip was made possible, for the Binga District team, by the contributions of stakeholders in the following way:
Basilwizi provided a fueled vehicle and a driver to collect some of the Mucheni students, take them to Victoria Falls and Return them to Mucheni.      
Mr Mathe, Registrars office provided transport to collect some of the Mucheni students and bring them to Binga.
BaTonga Museum provided artifacts and personnel.    
Ministry of Education provided a vehicle.    
Better schools programme Binga provided fuel and food in transit.    
Binga High provided a vehicle.    
Tonga.Online who provided Fuel equivalent to $100 and personnel.

see some more pictures in the media section
compiled by Sengamo Ndlovu