City of Kings commemorates Bulawayo day

by | Jun 1, 2021 | Entertainment, Local News | 0 comments


Mako Jerera

The City of Bulawayo, today June 1, 2021, commemorated the occasion of being declared a town 127 years ago and the day symbolically represents a start to the annual Bulawayo Arts Festival programme.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to officially launch the festivities on Thursday during the Urban Heritage Tour and Eco-Tourism Programme and the Creative and Cultural Industries Conference.

The BAF will be held from today and will end on Friday under the catchy theme, “We Own Winter” (WOW).
Bulawayo Day is a day to promote everything about Bulawayo and celebrate the diversity of local cultural expressions and heritage.
His Worship, The Mayor of Bulawayo spoke on the occasion of the celebration of Bulawayo day.
“ On this first day of June annually, the city of Bulawayo commemorates Bulawayo Day. A celebration of identity, history and heritage. Bulawayo as a centre of Matebeleland is the epicentre of the region that cements the diversity of the tribes languages, values, customs and culture of the people of Zimbabwe.”

BAF was birthed after the launch of the National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy in 2019 by President Mnangagwa during the Cultural and Creative Industries Indaba held at the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel under the theme: Leveraging Arts, Culture and Heritage for Enhanced Productivity, Job Creation and Economic Growth.
Two festivals were spoken about on that day, a National Arts Festival and the Bulawayo Arts Festival.

“Our celebration of Bulawayo is anchored on our rich history and legacy. As the City of Kings, on this day we also celebrate the arrival of Inkosi UMzilikazi the Ndebele nation in 1839 to the present day Zimbabwe.”

Lobengula renamed his royal town when he became king after Mzilikazi to Bulawayo in 1871. Hence, celebrating an identity as people and its resilience, strength, experiences and culture.
On Thursday, President Mnangagwa will lead a delegation to Bulawayo as he officiates at the Urban Heritage Tour and Eco-Tourism Programme and the Creative and Cultural Industries Conference.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) executive director, Mr Nicholas Moyo said it was an important visit by President Mnangagwa after the last meeting in 2019.
“It’s good that the President is returning to the city to officiate at something that was cemented at his meeting with the artists in 2019.
He said then that Government was committed to ensuring that the Arts, Culture and Creative Industries were at the centre of economic development,” said Mr Moyo.

The Bulawayo City Council has been running an online campaign to celebrate Bulawayo Day through the hashtag ‘I love Bulawayo’ as a declaration of Bulawayo as a city.
Last year, the BAF was held virtually due to Covid-19. The event was viewed online in at least 45 countries and the ultimate goal this year is to reach all corners of the globe and showcase local arts and culture

BAF will be a hybrid this year. This is because there will be shows online for a limited live audience in adherence to Covid-19 regulations.