By Dumisani Nyoni
Matobo, October 17, 2016 – THE Amagugu International Heritage Centre (AIHC) has challenged Zimbabwean citizens to keep their culture for future generations.
Speaking at a prize giving ceremony of the third edition of hut painting initiative dubbed “My Beautiful Home” in Matobo district on Saturday, AIHC director Phathisa Nyathi said people should not dump their culture for foreign ones.
“The aim of this programme (hut painting) is to restore our cultural practices as a people. It’s not just an event but a process. We want people to understand that culture is very important,” Nyathi said, adding the initiative was also enhancing participation of women in the local tourism value chain.
Speaking at the same occasion, singer Sandra Ndebele who was guest speaker, said more efforts were needed to restore culture as people were now losing interest in their own cultures.
“When I tried to champion my culture, I faced a lot of resistance from my own people. They called me names but nonetheless I persevered. Now I am what I am because of my culture,” she said.
AIHC is located in the Unesco designated cultural heritage locale of Matopos at Whitewaters Business Centre, some 60km along the Bulawayo-Kezi Road.
Nyathi partnered with John Knight, a professor of architecture, to champion the cause.
The initiative started in 2014, saw over 350 participants from seven wards, participating.
The initiative is being sponsored by corporates such as Freight Consultants, Squeaky Clean, Halsteds, Fortwell, Kango, e’Pap, Arenel and Icrisat.
Recently, AIHC conducted a study on the status of arts and culture in rural areas to explore the viability of creating a cultural advocacy for rural communities.
The study sought to encourage rural communities to look forward and develop not only new sources of wealth, but a new sense of self in line with arts and culture.