National culture week: An encounter with our being

by | May 21, 2021 | Entertainment, Local News | 0 comments


Nevanji Nehoreka and Alex Samanyanga

Gokwe South is an area of diverse cultures, dialects and peoples all interlinked together to make a home of an area some mistakenly call backward.

Nothing could prove the fallacy that Gokwe is a backward place than the National Culture Week Commemorations hosted at Chief Njelele of the Mhofu Gotami totem. The cultural commemorations held under the theme Resilience in safeguarding creativity and cultural diversity proved once and for all that there is vast and untapped knowledge existing in these parts of the country.

The Njelele paramount’s home was a hive of activity and by 6:30 AM when these writers arrived was already alive given that there were those who had slept there.

They had set their cultural wares including traditional foods, medicines, cultural and religious wear.
The foods on display included mufushwa (dried vegetables).
Of the dried vegetables there was muboora (pumpkin leraves), munyemba (cowpea leaves), mutsine (black jack) and munyevhe.
The vegetables were sundried without being cooked (said to be the most nutritious as it retains all nutrients) and the cooked and then sun-dried.

There was plenty of wild fruits on display from nhunguru, matamba, man’ono, mazumwi, makwakwa, matohwe, matufu, tsubvu and matunduru and plenty more. The fruits we were informed grow wild but are part and parcel of Zimbabwean culture for almost everyone in the rural areas and indeed in town areas has at one point or the other eaten them.

On the traditional medicines was the popular zumbani which apart from our people drinking it as an immune booster against the deadly Covid-19 virus turned out to have more that just immune boosting effect. It is also a cure for asthma. There were herbal aphrodisiacs which will require a separate article for justice to be done to it.

Mhasa (sleeping mats of different material and make were also on display as well as sweeping brooms made from grass and murara (a wild fibre). They were part and parcel of what was termed traditional bridal-ware. They were accompanied by the usual mbiya, tsaiya, pfuko and chirongo all forms of claypots.

Religious-ware on display included makano (battle-axes), fly-whisk, sceptres, snuff of all kinds, snuff pouch (nhekwe), ngundu (headdress) and cloths for mediums, healers and dreamers. The items under religious could also be won and used by chiefs and kings in former times. This as was explained was so because chiefs were also priests.

Before the arrival of guests, teas and entertainment was provided by local traditional music groups including Pasichigare Dance Group and Mbada dance Group. Of course it would not be Gokwe without Defe Dopota Brass Band.