Days of “koMnyam’ ubambile” over for Nkayi – Chief Dakamela Chief Dakamela

Leonard Ncube, [email protected]

CHIEF Dakamela of Nkayi in Matabeleland North Province has come up with a unique strategy aimed at encouraging his subjects to work harder for the development of the district.

The traditional leader started the Imiklomelo KaDakamela Awards where dozens of people have been recognised since last year when they were launched.

Chief Dakamela openly declared an end to “days of Nkayi being referred to as koMnyam’ubambile (backward place)” as he addressed more than 5 000 people who gathered at Dakamela Primary School last Saturday for the awards.

The event, which was held over two days, was attended by people from all walks of life.Nkayi was visibly alive and the defining line for all attendees was traditional attire as the majority, including Chief Dakamela, were dressed in symbolic Ndebele culture imvunulo and amabhetshu.Academics, educators, traditional and political leaders, the business community, tertiary institutions and some individuals attended the event which has become an annual feature on the district’s calendar.

The awards were categorised into those targeting locals within Chief Dakamela’s area of jurisdiction and those from across the Matabeleland region.Pupils that excelled in Grade Seven, Form Four and Form Six and selected teachers from local schools were honoured for raising the flag high schools in the Dakamela area.Some villagers were also awarded for their outstanding work.

Those who were honoured from outside Nkayi, include Bulawayo City Council (BCC) town clerk Mr Christopher Dube, historian Pathisa Nyathi, legendary poet Mr Albert Nyathi, South Africa-based actor Ernest Ndlovu, footballer Peter Ndlovu, Prince Zwide Khumalo, renowned medical doctor, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, Mr Brilliant Ncube, founder and chief executive officer of Kingdom Blue for his philanthropic work in funeral services, water, education, health and employment and others were honoured.

Journalist Blessing Karubwa was also honoured for positively reporting about development in the district.Prizes included medals, certificates, floating trophies, traditional walking sticks, hotel accommodation, massage vouchers, grocery hampers and traditional walking sticks that symbolise unity.

Some village heads were also honoured for being exemplary leaders and they received bicycles.

The awards recognise outstanding developmental work across all economic sectors and also seek to preserve culture.

“We award people for contributing towards the development of koDakamela and Matabeleland at large and even for lifting the Zimbabwean flag high as we have recipients from outside the district. This is not political and we want to appreciate people’s hard work while they’re still alive to see isizwe sikhula sibambene,” said Chief Dakamela.

“So we awarded 35 people from Nkayi and beyond for contributing to the growth and success of Zimbabwe.”He said Nkayi had found its niche and cannot continue to be regarded as a marginalised district.

“Nkayi is no longer koMnyam’ubambile. We wish to change this term so that even if it is dark, we can have two or more candles to light up our area. We want this to be the last day this term of used in Dakamela or Nkayi,” said Chief Dakamela.

“This is just a name but the awards are for the whole community based on our contribution towards development. This is aimed at empowering our children and giving them hope.”

The Chief thanked various companies and organisations that include Blue Funeral, Mthwakazi Funeral Service, Regional Funerals, Mbijana/Mbichana Funerals, Bulawayo Polytechnic, Binga and Plumtree Polytechnic colleges, Zimbabwe School of Mines, Ingwebu Breweries, Chibuku Breweries,  Accountability Lab and Dreams for support in hosting the event.

After the formal proceedings, the Chiefs were led by amatshitshi (maiden girls) and amabutho (emissaries or army) in traditional song and dance, past the Chief’s homestead to Sikaputani River where food was prepared and served on the river bed.




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