The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube in Binga
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has called on Zimbabweans to be proud of their culture and heritage and not sell out to foreign cultures as this will spell doom to the nation.
The President was speaking during the National Culture Month launch that was held at Kariyangwe High School under Chief Siansali in Binga District, Matabeleland North Province yesterday.
The launch at Kariyangwe High School was part of deliberate efforts by the Second Republic to decentralise all national events incorporating every citizen in the spirit of “leaving no-one and no place behind.” President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans’ celebration of cultural diversity enabled the nation to be socially integrated.
“As we celebrate the Culture Month, I challenge citizens of our country to revisit and live within our cultural values of integrity, love, dignity, hard honest work, tolerance, respect and discipline.
Safeguarding our culture requires that we uphold ubuntu/hunhu in order to deal with vices and societal challenges that are negatively affecting our youth. Drugs, substance abuse, immorality, indiscipline and disrespect among the youth threaten our national character, moral fibre and the future of our country,” he said.
President Mnangagwa reiterated the need for the youth to actively partake in the Culture Month Celebrations noting that programmes such as the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa’s cook out activities had a positive impact in upholding the nation’s cultural heritage.
“Community as a whole must transmit the cultural values handed down to us by our forefathers. We must never be ashamed to raise our children in the manner we were raised. Programmes such as the Nhanga/Gota/Ixhiba and the Cook-out activities being spearheaded by the First Lady, Amai Mnangagwa, which reinforce our culture and traditions must be supported to spread across our society.
“The youths are encouraged to participate in Culture Month Celebrations, especially that activities around this event can be transformed into viable commercial products and services. This sector has the potential to absorb a sizeable number of our talented youth across the Culture and Creative Industry’s value chain,” he said.
President Mnangagwa reiterated the need for Zimbabweans to embrace the cultural month commemorations as they help display the nation’s our rich cultural diversity from different ethnic groups towards understanding one another and fostering cohesion, peace and unity.
He said the national commemoration of the cultural month also gives the nation an opportunity to celebrate the rich heritage and helps to strengthen unity, integration, and sense of collective identity as Zimbabwean people.
“Additionally, this event allows us to reflect on how we can ride on our cultural creative industry, as well as the unique aspects of our localities and cultural heritage for the attainment of sustainable socio-economic development, right from the community level. Our beloved motherland is richly endowed with beneficial cultural practices as well as tangible and intangible heritage which define us as Zimbabweans,” said the President.
He added: “As a nation, let us be proud of our traditions and culture. I was recently in the United Kingdom for the coronation of King Charles 111 and I observed how that society has preserved their culture. Let us uphold and preserve our respective cultures as Zimbabweans.
Do not be deceived into thinking that our African culture, norms and traditions are inferior.”
President Mnangagwa also took the opportunity to celebrate the importance of language saying it was especially important that the national culture month was being launched in Binga, an area that had remained resolute and proud of its BaTonga language.
“Speaking in our indigenous languages as Africans is critical towards the realisation of sustainable socio-economic development and building the Zimbabwe and Africa we want. Our National Constitution officially recognises 16 languages, including Sign Language.
We must speak our languages and promote their preservation by teaching as well as using them across all levels of society. Our children and young people must be taught to speak and be proud of our indigenous languages,” he said.
President Mnangagwa further noted that guided by Second Republic’s philosophy of ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo / Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, the nation must be motivated to work hard for the development of the nation.
“Let us be remembered for leaving Zimbabwe much better than we found it, for the benefit of future generations,” he said.
The launch of the cultural month in Binga by the President was a historic event as it was his second visit to the district in as many years. This is the first time since it has happened since the country attained its independence in 1980.
President Mnangagwa has previously committed to the development of Binga which has seen a number of key projects being implemented in the district, these ranging from the establishment of Binga Polytechnic, revamping of the Binga Airstrip and the donation of fishing rigs to traditional leaders.