Kirsty Coventry Calls For The Spirit Of Ubuntu To Prevail On Zimbabweans Despite The Coronavirus.
19 May 2020
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Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry says COVID-19 should not break our spirits and lead us to shun our culture.

In launching the Culture Week on Monday, Minister Coventry said COVID-19 had affected many cultural events like funerals, burials, weddings, and other social practices that bring people together to celebrate or support each other.

“As we practice social distancing let us not forget our values of Ubuntu/Unhu.

“Let us continue to co-exist and engage in respectful dialogue even on social media, where most of us now spend much of our time on, as a result of the lockdown measures.

“COVID-19 has affected many of our cultural events like funerals, burials, weddings, and other social practices that bring people together to celebrate or support each other,” she said.

“In our Online conversations let us celebrate our cultural diversity as it is the driving force for development.”

This year’s Culture Week will run under the theme: “Zimbabwe @ 40, celebrating our cultural diversity and heritage.”

“This dovetails well with the national mood where we are celebrating 40 years of Independence as well as our diverse cultural expressions,” she said.

Minister Coventry urged Zimbabweans to effectively use digital platforms during COVID-19 national lockdown.

“As citizens of the World, we must accept and recognize cultural diversity especially through the innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to promote dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect, and mutual understanding.

“I would like to commend the Creative and Sporting personalities in the country who have fully embraced technology and have utilized it to inform and educate us about COVID-19 as well as entertain us during this national lockdown,” she said.

“Culture Week this year provides an opportunity for wider participation of communities through online interaction and exchange of ideas on arts and culture in addition to creating platforms for artists to interact and network.”

In addition to the National Launch there will be discussion Monday that will celebrate International Museums Day through an online conversation between International Organisation of Museums (ICOM) of United Kingdom, The British Council, The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ), Victoria Albert Museum and the Mori Museum of Japan.

On Wednesday the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe will lead online discussion entitled “the impact of COVID-19 on traditional Zimbabwean cultural practices” will take place.

On that same Wednesday, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe will showcase an online visual exhibition called “Freedom through the eyes of General Tongo” which will be followed by online Harare conversations on Thursday and Friday.

To cap it all, on Saturday evening a musical concert featuring some of the country’s top artists will be screened on the National Television station ZBC Television as well as on social media platforms as we wrap up the week’s festivities.

In the provinces, online launches will be replicated together with other performances by traditional dance groups and exhibitions of various traditional artefacts, cooking instruments and traditional apparel.

These will also be shared on social media platforms.

Culture Week is timed every year to coincide with the UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development which falls on the 21st of May every year, and in 2020 this is on Thursday.

The Week is designed to allow our citizens to appreciate the diversity of the arts and cultures that abound, locally and globally.