Yvonne Ncube, Showbiz Correspondent
Winners of My Beautiful Home competition are set to be unveiled today during an award ceremony slated for the Amagugu International Heritage Centre.
Women deep in the rural areas of Matobo district participate by decorating their huts by painting them beautifully with outstanding huts in terms of interior, exterior and best environment set to win prizes.
In its eighth edition this year, the competition which derives from ancestral traditions saw 860 women taking part. They decorated their homes with different shades of clay.
Organisers said all is in place for the award ceremony.
“The 8th edition of the award ceremony of My Beautiful Home contest will be held on September 28 at 10am at Amagugu International Heritage Centre. The jury will give the prizes to the best ones selected.
“Since 2014, this contest has rewarded every single participant for their merit and design, where prizes are chosen for their utility values in the rural areas, and has contributed to improving the lives of many families,” event organisers said in a statement.
The initiative, organisers said, was originally created in 2014 by three organisations, Ekhaya Gaia-Maison Terre, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and Amagugu International Heritage Centre. The aim was to promote the traditional women’s art of clay-painted homesteads in the Matobo Hills.
Photos of the contest are displayed on social media and have developed, “a truly international interest to visit the Matobo Hills, and supporting the development of eco-tourism and living in the area.
This contest has its origin in an ancestral tradition in the country, after the rains and the harvest, during the dry season when women have finally a little bit of time to mend and decorate the rural homes with different shades of natural clay (as well as charcoal and ashes) found in the surroundings.”
However, organisers said this tradition is fading away with the parting of families with some members relocating to the towns.
“There is now a huge pride among many families of the Matobo Hills to revive this tradition and compete for the best-decorated home in the Matobo.”
The initiative, encouraged by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, is organised with the support of the French Embassy in Zimbabwe, The Alliance Française of Bulawayo, The German Embassy, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, and the Lions Club of Bulawayo among many local companies.
The women’s beautiful work once caught the attention of renowned music video director Vusa Blaqs who decided to shoot popular musician, Jah Prayzah’s music video for Sadza Nemuriwo there. The video which featured Iyasa and Ben Chest captured the beautiful homes well.