PREPARATIONS for the inaugural Zim Food and Culture Festival which kicks off this Thursdays (23 May) are said to be at an advanced stage.
The festival which is a brainchild of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa seeks among other things to promote and restore cultural diversity, unite locals, bridge the cultural divide and more importantly promote domestic tourism.
Scheduled for Harare Gardens from the 23rdto the 25th of May, the festival is centred on celebrating Zimbabwe’s authentic and unique cultural lifestyle through showcasing various traditional foods, languages, arts, music, crafts, fabric, furniture, traditional healers, cultural practices and social activities, among others.
Commenting on the Festival, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti said the event was important for promoting domestic tourism and educating people about the country’s cultures and traditions.
“As the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, we are very delighted and elated to be having such events of this magnitude. We are looking forward to people coming out to experience the Zimbabwean culture, the Zimbabwean food and all the rich culinary activity the country has to offer.
“We want to grow the numbers of people who visit the country but most importantly we have to educate the local community about destination Zimbabwe.
“It’s a 360 approach, we look at the food, the culture, the people, we look at the facilities, and we look at the heritage. Locals must be able to know them so that they experience them and enjoy them which will ultimately drive up numbers,” he said.
There will also be a skills development and corporate social responsibility (CSR) workshop will run concurrently with the festival that will be seeking to impart life skills to people who are expected to throng the Harare Gardens.
The festival will also serve as a platform for lobbying for policy change in a bid to strengthen local culture preservation and food consumption.
Zimbabwe Food and Culture Festival is a noble addition to existing government efforts which seek to wrestle the negative effects of cultural erosion and cultural diffusion as it is premised on the understanding and belief that people and culture are inseparable as it is culture that makes up the fabric of any society, hence society and culture are intertwined. The festival will be starting from 0800 hours to 6 pm in the evening and there will be lots of entertainment.