Vintage party revives township’s cultural soul

19 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Vintage party revives township’s cultural soul Vintage radios on display

The Sunday News

Nobukhosi Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter

THE Makokoba community pulsed with nostalgia recently as residents dressed in vintage attire swayed to the crackling tunes of Zimbabwean jazz in celebration of Joyce Chanza’s 58th vintage-themed birthday party that was steeped in the township’s rich cultural heritage.

Makokoba is named after the actions of one Mr Fallon, the native commissioner at the time, who used to walk around with a stick (ukukhokhoba in Ndebele). The word also describes the noise of the stick hitting the ground kho-kho-kho or knocking on doors.

In its heyday, Makokoba was a melting pot of cultures, where people of different backgrounds came together to create something truly special. From the legendary Stanley Square, where musicians played for the community on weekends, to the hustle and bustle of the local markets, Makokoba was a place where art, music and commerce flourished.

The vintage-themed decorations, which included old suitcases stacked high, a pair of well-worn hair cutting scissors, a few antique television sets and radios that had seen better days and vintage Tarino drinks evoked memories of a bygone era.

As she welcomed her guests, Joyce enlightened them on why she chose the vintage theme for her party.

“Makokoba may have changed, but its spirit remains strong in the hearts of those who grew up there. This party is not just a birthday celebration but also a chance for me to reconnect with my roots and remember a time when Makokoba was more than just a place, but a way of life. Growing up in Makokoba was like living in a cultural melting pot. It really feels like I’m stepping back in time as this classic mbaqanga and jazz music is taking me back to a time when Stanley Square was the place to be for weekend music shows, my father used to say, ‘That’s where we learned how to dance.’ Back then, the township was alive with music and laughter and I wanted my party to capture that same energy. This has made me feel connected to my father, to my community and to my heritage, in a way that I haven’t felt in years. I guess that’s what nostalgia does, it brings the past into the present and reminds us of who we are and where we came from,” Joyce said.

As the nostalgic music floated through the air and guests reminisced about their beloved township, one resident, Nontombi Zondo shared a cherished memory.

“When I stepped into the party, it was like stepping back into a time when Makokoba was the heartbeat of Bulawayo.

The sights, the sounds, even the smell of the vintage Tarino drinks has brought back so many memories. I remember as a child, on Saturday afternoons, my friends and I would sit outside, under the tree in Stanley Square, listening to the Soul Brothers play their instruments, their music was so powerful and it made your heart beat faster and your feet want to dance. Those were some of the best days of my life,

“To see all my old friends again, dressed in their vintage clothes and dancing to the songs of our youth, reminded me of how special Makokoba was and still is. I may not be living here anymore, but Makokoba will always be a part of me,” she said.

For Sizwe Dlamini, one of Joyce’s guests, the party was a gift of nostalgia that allowed him to relive fond memories of Makokoba’s vibrant past.

“Tonight, I was reminded of the power of community, the magic of memories and the beauty of our shared history.

In this time of great change, we must hold fast to our roots and our traditions, for they remind us of who we are and where we came from. So, let us never forget Makokoba’s spirit and may its light guide us always. Thank you, Joyce for giving us a gift that will stay with us forever.”

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