Nkosilesisa Ncube, Sunday Life Reporter
While Bulawayo residents were gathered at White City Stadium to celebrate the Independence Day, residents of Lupane were treated to a special Independence Gala featuring artistes from in and around the capital of Matabeleland North.
The gala, a brainchild of Lupane resident Christopher Katema was held at the Lupane Community Hall and attracted hundreds of revellers who came together to celebrate the country’s independence.
Speaking to Sunday Life after the gala, Katema said although he had not charged any entry fee for the gala, he was still overwhelmed by the support that it received from the people of Lupane.
“We made the show free of charge so that people could easily attend. And they came in numbers! It would have been unfair to put a price on the gala. It was about celebrating our liberation as a country and we could not expect people to pay to celebrate their own independence,” Katema said.
The line-up consisted mostly of underground artistes from Binga, Hwange and Lupane but the highlight of the event was Vusi Silanke, a South Africa-based performer who was born and raised in Lupane.
“Vusi came home just to celebrate Independence. He was here for the gala. Like the other artistes, he understands what it means for our country to be independent and we, through the gala, hoped to make the Lupane community aware of independence really mean to us as a people,” Katema said.
He described the gala as an effort to reconcile young people with their political roots and to bring people in unity to celebrate our liberation.
“People should come together for gatherings like these, with singleness of purpose. People should develop the mindset to celebrate great things in their midst and so we hope to not only make the Lupane Independence Gala an annual event but also to have events like these whenever there are national commemorations,” Katema said.