Dzimbanhete Arts And Culture Interactions Calls For Heritage Preservation In The Spirit Of Pan Africanism

By Wallace Mawire

Dzimbanhete Arts and Culture Interactions Trust is advocating for cultural investment in its mandate to promote the arts, culture, and heritage.

Through prioritising heritage preservation and enabling the promotion of indigenous knowledge practices, Dzimbanhete supports the spirit of Pan Africanism and Ubuntu. Aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 of the African Union envisions “An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage and shared values and ethics” which is at the core of Dzimbanhete as a cultural resources centre.

It is the mandate of the organisation to contribute to the development and exhibition of cultural activities that encourage participation and interpretation by artists and audiences.

The institution is tapping into Africa’s rich cultural heritage through creating cultural productions on heritage and art education, packed with indigenous traditional practices and material culture to stimulate the growth and transformation of the creative sector. These activities offset the institution’s greater idea, which is to advocate for investment in indigenous cultural heritage.

Dzimbanhete is laying the foundation for preserving culture and heritage through a monthly Dare conversation titled “Chivanhu, Chinyakare neMatare”, which kicked off on 25 May in celebration of Africa Day. The idea is to get people to share knowledge about indigenous knowledge systems and practices and how they relate to contemporary life and society. What is essential is to ensure that an accessible, welcoming and responsive cultural and heritage ecosystem exists that enables full participation by diverse members of society.

The launch of the Dare conversation, which took place at the All Africa Village, emphasized the importance of infrastructure in fostering a vibrant culture and heritage ecosystem. Audiences experience a tour of the All Afrika Village, which currently consists of indigenous architecture from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Botswana. In the same context, audiences participate in conversation, collective research, and guidance through Matare a traditional court that the resource centre is now utilising for meaningful engagement. The participants are also treated to a taste of traditional beer and mbira music.

The event challenges audiences to think about the meaning of indigenous culture and heritage and how it can be part of everyday living within communities. The underlying outcome is enabling and activating public education on culture and heritage and building relevant relationships between individuals.

Dzimbanhete recognises that investment in cultural heritage enforces social cohesion and contributes to strong economic growth. Therefore, the organisation is setting out a five-year plan advocating for a USD 2 million investment centralised around activating the mobilisation of indigenous cultural heritage at the All Africa Village. The aim is to promote and celebrate Africa’s material culture and indigenous knowledge systems in an architectural environment representative of the continent’s rich and diverse heritage.

As a critical player in the cultural and creative sector in Zimbabwe, Dzimbanhete foresees increased participation of investors in cultural production to ensure that the Cultural and Creative Industries in Zimbabwe (CCIs) achieve the objectives of Agenda 2063, National Arts and Culture Policy, as well as the National Development Strategy (NDS1).

 

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