All set for Luswingo Kalanga Cultural Festival
Extracted from the Chronicle
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Plumtree Correspondent
THE Kalanga Language and Cultural Development Association (KLCDA) will tomorrow host the 2016 edition of the Luswingo Kalanga Cultural Festival at Luswingo Heritage Site in Tokwana Village, Bulilima District.
KLCDA executive secretary Ntando Dumani said the festival, being held under the theme: “Tolumbidza milenje nemipanga yedu (Promoting our culture and traditions)”, was part of efforts by the association to preserve Kalanga traditional and cultural practices.
Some of the activities include traditional music and dance, poetry, drama, Kalanga jazz and an exhibition of traditional foods, cultural ruins and artefacts.
Artists from Botswana and South Africa are expected to attend the fete where local dance groups and poets will also perform.
Maretha Dube from the Zimbabwe Indigenous Languages Promotion Association will be the guest of honour.
“KLCDA will also facilitate a lecture on Kalanga history relating to Luswingo while the highlight of the day will be a guided tour of Luswingo Heritage Site,” said Dumani.
Luswingo heritage site is located 36 kilometres north of Plumtree Town on a hill by the banks of Thekwane River in Bulilima.
It was built by BaKalanga in their distinguished workmanship in the fashion of Masvingo and Khami heritage sites as well as Mapungubgwe and Domboshaba heritage sites in South Africa and Botswana respectively.
Though much smaller in size, the stone walled settlement exhibits the combination of both structural and civil engineering skills of early civilisation. ‘Luswingo’ is a Kalanga word which means ‘stone wall’. The heritage site was established to serve as a fortress for the purposes of security.
Luswingo Heritage Site was one of the key settlements of BaKalanga in Bulilima as it is between Dombodema and Tokwana areas which are the areas of origin for most BaKalanga in Bulilima who later dispersed to settle in various parts of Bulilima and beyond.
“Luswingo, like all other similar structures had a spiritual significance to the Kalanga people.
“The site had however, become a neglected place and we want to revive it so that people can realise its significance once again. We want to turn the site into a renowned artefact,” said Dumani.
He said the Luswingo Cultural Festival was a way of retracing the steps of the Kalanga community to their cradle in Bulilima District.