Ijwi Lyako Alimvwigwe - Make Your Voice Heard

Kujatana Nkubotu 21 km Peace Half Marathon is held annually to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Peace. Since the first race was held in 2008, the half marathon has evolved into a major sports event on the Zimbabwean calendar. The race organised and sponsored by Twalumba Foundation - the corporate social responsibility arm of Twalumba Holdings - is held in Binga district in Matabeleland North Province. This year’s race was held on the 22 October 2011 and nearly 700 athletes competed. Besides offering an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) certified route to compete, the race has helped to bring the world to Binga. Athletes, race officials, spectators and journalists from all over Zimbabwe have travelled to Binga and enjoyed the natural and cultural beauty of the Ba-Tonga people.

This year marked the fourth edition of the marathon, which ran under the theme “Make Your Voice Heard” (Ijwi Lyako Alimvwigwe in Chitonga).

In line with this year’s theme, "Make Your Voice Heard" (Ijwi Lyako Alimvigwe), Twalumba Foundation organized a cultural festival to precede the marathon, which brought the Tonga culture to the fore, and also showcased cultural dances from other parts of Zimbabwe, namely, from Zvimba district.

Ngoma zyabuntibe and Chilimba from Binga, Chihoda dance group and Gule Wamkulu from Zvimba North Constituency took turns to perform. Lined up on the the 22rd of October after the race, were the Kujatana Soccer and netball competitions for local teams, fireworks and the splendid band performance by Kiama Boys.

In view of correcting the uninformed and biased views held by the society regarding the Tonga people a media excursion was conducted to Saba community on the 23rd of October 2011. This tour was meant to give journalists a true picture of Binga, so that they could write stories about the Tonga people. After the day long excursion the journalists were convinced that Binga has a lot to offer in terms of tourism and therefore needs to be marketed a lot more, so that the world is informed of its natural beauty as a tourist destination.

For the people who attended the Kujatana Nkubotu 21km Half Peace Marathon, it is undisputable that it was a weekend of excitement, anticipation and enjoyment.


Potter Muzamba