If there is an ethnic group that has managed to preserve and promote its rich cultural heritage despite the pressures of modernisation, it has to be the Venda community, located in the southern part of the country.

The launch of the Matabeleland South Provincial Culture Week at Mpande area under Chief Staudze in Beitbridge gave the Venda community in particular an opportunity to showcase its culture, practices and language which have stood the test of time.

Matabeleland South is known for its ethnic and cultural diversity and every year during the culture week launch, the rainbow province comes together to celebrate its diverse heritage.

Under the spotlight this year was the rich Venda culture.

The sea of traditional brightly coloured Venda clothing worn at the important celebration was a feast for the eye, while the respect the women show to their chiefs and elders through the practice of lying down known as ‘ulosha,’ proved they still attach great importance to their culture.

The Tshigombela, Tshikona and Malende were some of the Venda dances that were performed at the function.

“The Venda are unique, principled and consistent people, traits that should continue to be instilled in future generations,” this was the message from Beitbridge East legislator, who is also the Minister of State Security, Cde Kembo Mohadi.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Director, Mr Elvis Mari noted that culture is a defining characteristic of humanity that when cultivated and respected, can create a well developed nation.

The guest of honour, Chief Mathe of Gwanda who was represented by Chief Sibasa said abandoning culture has resulted in various social ills.

The Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, Cde Abednico Ncube pledged government’s commitment to continue promoting arts and culture.

Provincial culture week commemorations have also seen the renovation and building of cultural centres, which are critical in preserving local culture.

The celebration also saw locals showcasing various crafts and dishes.