Bulawayo Marks 130 Years with Cultural Festivities.

Written by on June 4, 2024

By Kudakwashe Takundwa

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, celebrated its 130th anniversary with a colorful carnival on Saturday, marking the day it was declared a city on June 1, 1894.

The festivities began with a grand tour starting from the City Hall car park, featuring a vibrant parade of artists, drum majorettes, and the Skyz Cyclers, accompanied by Mayor Sen. David Coltart.

The Zimbabwe Free Riders Motorcycle Club also joined the celebration, showcasing their impressive skills to the delight of onlookers. Mayor Coltart expressed his joy in participating in the event, emphasizing the significance of the day in highlighting Bulawayo’s distinctive culture and heritage.

He praised the Bulawayo Arts Festival for its vital role in promoting cultural tourism and strengthening economic value chains, reaffirming the city’s status as a cultural cornerstone of Zimbabwe.

“Bulawayo Day is a day of cultural importance, offering a platform for social and cultural expression, integration, and cohesion,” Mayor Coltart stated.

The celebrations also served as a tribute to World Bicycle Day, observed on June 3rd, aligning with the government’s recognition of the importance of sports, arts, and culture.

This sentiment was echoed by Ntandoyenkosi Thabane, representing Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube, who took pride in the city’s cultural legacy.

The National Development Strategy 1 anticipates a 40% increase in the consumption of arts and cultural products by 2025, highlighting the government’s commitment to fostering the growth of these sectors.

The anniversary event not only commemorated the city’s past but also set a vision for its cultural and economic future.

The celebration of Bulawayo’s 130th anniversary culminated with the KoNtuthu legendary concert, a musical tribute to the city’s iconic artists. The event featured performances by local talents such as DeLukes, Gugue, Luminous, Ramsey K, and Family Voices, who brought to life the legacy of Bulawayo’s music legends.

Luminous delivered stirring renditions of the late Cal Vin’s hits, including “Zkhiphani” and “Banjalo Abantu,” while Gugue paid homage to Beater Mangethe with a performance of “Hallo/Makokoba.”

The concert also saw Gugue cover Sandra Ndebele’s “Malaika,” showcasing the diverse musical influences that shape Bulawayo’s soundscape.

Family Voices presented an Imbube medley, a rich tapestry of songs by renowned groups such as Insingizi, Black Umfolosi, Amabhubesi, Siyaya, and Umdumo Wesizwe, celebrating the traditional and contemporary rhythms that resonate within the city’s cultural fabric.

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