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Nkomo celebrations in SA

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ZIMBABWEANS in South Africa are organising a musical extravaganza in honour of the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo they say is intended to celebrate the life of Father Zimbabwe as part of celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of his death.

NONHLANHLA SIBANDA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Nkomo died on July 1 1999, but organisers of the belated Johannesburg event, Matabeleland Entertainment News (MEN), an organisation that hosts community events in South Africa, said the event would be held on July 26 at the Hilbrow Theatre.

In an exclusive interview with Southern Eye, co- director of MEN Mothusi Ndlovu said the annual event is organised to bring people together to celebrate, restore, resurrect and preserve culture, traditions and history through the arts.

“This event will give an opportunity to all our artists and cultural ambassadors based in South Africa to educate and motivate our people to take pride in our identity,”Ndlovu said.

“The event will open with a lecture on Umdala Wethu for two hours interspersed with performances followed by a launch and presentation of the Joshua Nkomo Leadership award.

“To us Joshua Nkomo is our Mandela, a national leader who fought for our freedom. He taught people tolerance and peace hence this year we are launching the Dr Joshua Nkomo Leadership Award in South Africa in honour of those individuals that have resembled and walked in Joshua Nkomo’s footsteps and done something positive in our community here in South Africa and Zimbabwe,” Ndlovu added.

“South Africa has become a second home to us since we have been living here for many years, yet sadly we live under a dark cloud of being stereotyped into disappointing unsavoury social labels abundantly titled criminals, fraudsters, thieves, sex workers, con artists and bearers of illegitimate children.”

He added that despite the negative publicity Zimbabwe was getting from the South African media, his organisation continued to raise the Zimbabwean flag high.

“We have done a lot in improving the lives of others, safeguarding our culture and dignity (ubuntu) this award is directed at those who against all odds are determined to better our community and have also exhibited great leadership in community-based projects.”

More than 300 people are expected to grace the event with a guest speaker from the Joshua Nkomo Cultural Movement, Mehluli Moyo from Bulawayo and University of South Africa professor Sabelo Gatsheni, expected to deliver keynote addresses.

Otis Ngwabi, Zinjaziyaluma, Tsholotsho, King, Amabhukudwana, Amakhosi amahle, Amabhubesi, Imbizo messengers, Inkanyezi zezulu, Vivianne, Fortune Dawu, Tsheba Boys, Pershy, D2X, Tshabanda Mapoko and Abafana bakaMzilikazi are among some of the artistes that will perform on the day.

MEN is the producer of Mzilikazi Day celebrations held on October 26 last in South Africa to honour the late king Mzilikazi Khumalo a South African, the powerful founder of the Ndebele kingdom.

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