Story by Jerold Sasa, Mashonaland East Bureau
A cultural village has been established in Mashayamombe area of Domboshawa as part of efforts to preserve local customs, which are under threat from cultural imperialism.
Located just 25km outside Harare to the north lies Domboshawa where the local culture is under threat from urbanisation.
Faced with the threat of cultural extinction, the Shawasha people of Domboshawa are doing all they can to protect their culture through the establishment of a cultural village in Mashayamombe area.
“We are just a stone’s throw from Harare, which leaves us under the threat of cultural erosion as more and more people from Harare come to buy our land and establish their homes,” said a traditional leader, Chief Lister Chidziva Chinhamhora.
“We want this culture village to be used to preserve our culture with school children coming to learn more about our culture,” noted another traditional leader, Headman Gwindi.
The establishment of the cultural village is viewed as the beginning of several initiatives meant to preserve the African culture.
“My dream is to see our culture being preserved through such a culture village with school children coming to learn more about our culture,” said Schanmak Cultural Village patron, Mr Collin Makondo.
“If you ask some of our children about some basic culture they struggle so this is an opportunity for them to come and learn more about our culture,” added Schanmak Culture village patron, Mrs Elizabeth Makondo.
Government is supportive of the initiative which also promotes cultural tourism.
“As government, we are in support of such a project which is also promoting rural industrialisation through infrastructure development,” Goromonzi District Development Coordinator Ms Prisca Dube.
“A Zimbabwe tourism authority this project also supports cultural tourism as people from other areas come to learn about the Shawasha people culture,” Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Representative Mashonaland East Province, Mrs Kudzanai Majuru.
Apart from hosting cultural festivals, Mashayamombe Cultural Centre will also offer traditional foods.