The Minister of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation Honorable Kirsty Coventry has launched the 2020 Culture Week with a call for Zimbabweans not to forget their values of Ubuntu/Unhu and continue to co-exist and engage in respectful dialogue, during the lockdown measures being implemented by government to curb the spread of the deadly COVID19 disease.


In a speech broadcast on ZBC News Online and on the Zoom conferencing facility, Minister Coventry said the disease has made an indelible mark in the country and the world over with new cultures and behaviours emerging in order to cope with a new world order, a new normal.


“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. Thus COVID-19 has challenged some cultural practices and traditions that we had known as part of our existence as the people of Zimbabwe and the world.” She said.


Minister Coventry said that COVID-19 should not lead the people of Zimbabwe to shun their culture.


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


This year’s Culture Week includes a discussion on an online discussion entitled “the impact of COVID-19 on traditional Zimbabwean cultural practices” on the Zoom Platform on Wednesday 20 May and 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 on Saturday evening to 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.


Minister Coventry said this year’s Culture was very significant for Zimbabwe, coming at a time when most families are spending a lot of time together due to the national lockdown measures thus providing an opportunity Zimbabweans to appreciate and enhance their knowledge and understanding of their culture.


The theme for Culture Week this year is “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.


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