This is a national arts and culture festival to celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development proclaimed by UNESCO as 21st May. Zimbabwe celebrates this over a week. National Arts Council of Zimbabwe(NACZ) encourage communities and stakeholders alike to hold events that celebrate their culture. The national official Culture Week launch is a national event coordinated by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and implemented by the hosting province in which this year it is Mashonaland Central. The launch marks the beginning of the celebration of the importance of cultural diversity throughout the country through various cultural and artistic expressions. Some of the activities done at the official launch include street marching by artists and cultural activists, fashion show, music and dance performances, art and craft exhibition and herbal medicine exhibitions.
The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by UNESCO in 2001 proclaimed 21 May of each year the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Cultural diversity is a defining characteristic of humanity that when cultivated and respected can create a well-developed nation. It nurtures diverse human capacities and values and in the process promotes national growth that fosters unity and identity.
In commemorating this day, countries are encouraged to celebrate the uniqueness of diverse cultures found in them as part of world culture. In addition, this day is intended to provide an opportunity for the flaunting of various cultural heritages that need to be preserved for posterity.
Cognisant of the phenomenal growth in popularity this World Day has enjoyed hitherto, NACZ decided to make this occasion a weeklong event hence the existence of the Culture Week every year. Therefore NACZ inaugurated Culture Week in 2002 after it discovered that one day was too short a period to leave an impact in people. In addition, artists found the one day not adequate to allow them to celebrate and display their works to the public.
The objectives of Culture Week are
- To bring together diverse arts and cultural activities of the sub-region and other parts of the world for public consumption
- To provide an opportunity for the people in Zimbabwe to appreciate the diversity of the arts and cultures of the world
- To bring about national, regional and international social integration through the arts and culture
- To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and views between artists and other cultural workers within the sub-region, African continent and the world
- To encourage young people to celebrate World Culture and Africa Days
- To allow members of the public to appreciate the employment generation capacity of the arts and culture industry
CULTURE WEEK 2018
Preparations for Culture Week commemorations that will run from 19th - 25th of May 2018 are on course in all provinces. Culture Week addresses the need for co-existence and inter-cultural dialogue taking into cognizance the diversity of culture in Zimbabwe. The week-long programme will be punctuated with varied activities that are a reflection of varied cultures in this nation. The official national launch that heralds the commencement of the Culture Week will be held at Bolamba Culture Centre in Gwanda on 19 May 2018 and the closing ceremony celebrating Africa Day at Harare Gardens on 25 May 2018 and admission is free to both events.The National Official Launch of Culture Week and closing ceremony is coordinated by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) in partnership with the hosting province through the local organizing committees.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe value Culture Week celebrations for it enables Zimbabwe to reflect on her diversified culture while reminding Zimbabweans of the need to safeguard cultural practices. Such practices are integral components of the nation’s cultural heritage in both tangible and intangible forms. Culture Week is an opportune time to promote and showcase the diversity of the Zimbabwean culture. NACZ is encouraging communities at whatever level to come together, celebrate and enjoy their respective cultures in unison.
This year’s theme is Culture: A Tool for Building Communities” signifying identity and a true sense of belonging. Culture binds communities, binds nations and ultimately binds the entire world though diverse in nature and practice. Countries are united by a common consciousness whose national expression is laid bare by culture. It is culture that rightly defines a people, a community and ultimately an entire nation. Zimbabweans are known in a community of nations primarily because of cultural traits.
CULTURE WEEK PROVINCIAL LAUNCHES SCHEDULE
Inyathi Youth Centre
Chinyakare Heritage Site
Matoranjera Business Centre
Tshongogwe Primary School
Mandedza High School
Chesvingo Primary School
Chitungwiza Arts Centre
Zhombe High School
Murewa Culture Centre