Bulawayo Day, a time to reflect growth and milestones of the city Dr Joshua Nkomo’s statue mounted at the intersection of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 8th Avenue in Bulawayo

Mbulelo Mpofu, Online Reporter

 ON Thursday, Bulawayo celebrated 129 years since the declaration of the city as a town on June 1, 1894.

It was a celebration of the diversity of the city’s culture and heritage. Commemorations were held at Stanley Square Hall under the theme: “Our culture, our Heritage and our creativity”. The commemorations started with a tour of historic and significant places in Makokoba, the first suburb in the city.

In an interview, veteran jazz artiste Jeys Marabini told Chronicle Showbiz that the day is for recollection and unity.

“To us, it’s all about celebrating ubuntu, something special which makes Bulawayo distinct from other cities. Also, the day is about unity and the acceptance that we’re different, yet united. Bulawayo houses a lot of people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures and all of those blend into the City of Kings and Queens.

“We have a lot of places to celebrate in the city. These include the giant Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo statue, the National Art Gallery, and the Bulawayo Library. These places are critical for our history and posterity. Our culture and identity won’t be lost along the way with these intact,” he said.

Bulawayo has been home to some of the country’s funniest beings and one of them is Umahlekisa Entertainment director, and popular comedian, Ntando Van Moyo. He said celebrating the day must bring to remembrance how the city has come of age.

“This is a time to reflect on the growth and milestones of the city as well as the challenges that we’re facing. The past 129 years have not always been rosy, but through it all, we have thrived. It’s a special time for creatives to see how we can pave the way as creatives in the city toward the growth and upliftment of the city’s creative sector.

“This will enable us to leave a legacy for future generations and will act as a stepping stone so that when we pass on the baton, they would have a strong foundation to build from,” said Moyo.

Former actress, Lindiwe Khumalo who is now a poetess said Bulawayo has been growing steadily over the years.

“Bulawayo’s creative sector matures like fine wine as new genres and art forms are introduced at regular intervals. Back in the day, we used to see things done in a particular way and with the advent of technology and things evolving, we’ve seen tremendous change in the sector.

“These changes have been good, but one thing to note is that some of the changes make one wish they could turn back the hands of time. One cannot help but feel as if poets have lost it quite a bit and we yearn for heydays when simplicity was the way to go. Nowadays, creatives try too hard to be different and end up losing the plot altogether,” she said.

Actor Tawanda Denga said Bulawayo Day signifies the city’s rich history and contribution to the nation’s creative sector.

“This day signifies how historical this city is. It has so much heritage and culture. Apart from that, this city has given so much to the nation’s creative sector. The day shines the spotlight on the beauty of the city. People from Bulawayo need to understand that we can have a Bulawayo Festival for the city of talent,” Denga said.

The commemorations of Bulawayo Day coincided with the hosting of the Bulawayo Arts Festival week, which will be marked by many activities, including a Culture Craft Fair that will take place from today up to Monday. – @MbuleloMpofu

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