Eclectic performances by various arts organisations and schools from Bulawayo lit up the Bulawayo Theatre on Wednesday, the venue of the official launch of Culture Week.
The theatre packed to the brim with artists, students, teachers and arts enthusiasts witnessed various performances showcasing the various cultures found in Zimbabwe.
Traditional attires, songs, dances and chants exhibited how the country is richly endowed with a heritage which has been passed from one generation to the next.
Speaking at the official launch, Clemence Kunzekweguta, who was the guest of honour challenged the attendees to value their culture.
“Culture has not received the recognition that it deserves and the reason is that Africans as a people tend to look down upon their fellow men and also upon themselves. Lets stop this bad idea of looking down upon ourselves. Culture embodies every facet of our lives,” he said.
Kunzekweguta urged people to preserve cultural artefacts and value them over cheap imports that have flooded the country.
“Chinese people are so clever they are proud of who they are and they sell what they have. We have got our own artefacts which were made a long time ago and these have been passed down to us as a heritage. We dont value it, we would rather go and buy a cheap chinese product,” charged Kunzekweguta.
The commercialisation of the Zimbabwean culture has seen arts groups that include IYASA, Siyaya Arts, Umdumo Wesizwe and Black Umfolosi touring the world showcasing local culture.
Siyaya Arts, Harsh Touch, uMdumo Wesizwe, Thandanani Womens Ensemble, Kwabatsha Dance Company and the top 5 schools from the 2012 provincial Jikinya Traditional Dance Festival performed at the launch.
The Culture Week is commemorated in various provinces in the country, with one province chosen each year to host the national launch. This year the official launch was held at Murehwa Cultural Centre in Mashonaland East on Saturday May 18.
The celebrations run until May 24.
Bulawayo Province will host the 2014 national culture week launch.