Local celebrities urged Zimbabweans to defend and preserve African culture to ensure it is passed on to future generations.
Celebrities said this ahead of Africa Day, which is commemorated today.
The Africa Day was born from a collaboration of all African States in 1963 in order to mobilize the decolonization of Africa in the framework of the Organization of African Union (OAU), now African Union.
The day is celebrated on May 25 each year.
Ghana became on March 6, 1957 the first African country south of the Sahara to be independent under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah.
Its independence served as an inspiration to other African countries struggling against colonial rule, and Ghana played a central role in this goal, which saw Zimbabwe achieve independence on April 18, 1980.
The celebrities said Africa Day is a reflection of the continent’s journey and should be seen as special and worth celebrating.
Felistas Murat Edwards, affectionately known as Mai Tt, urged women to observe Africa Day.
She said technology, although it has accelerated communication and created a global village, is at the heart of cultural erosion.
“As young women, we must learn to preserve our culture. As we commemorate this special day of Africa Day, we must not forget to preserve our culture as Africans.
“Our identity is no longer African because it has been eroded by technology. We have adopted the foreign culture. This is (the Africa Day) a great day for us.
“To those single women who are not yet married, stay focused. Do not follow foreign or western culture as a wedding ceremony also portrays our culture as Africans.
Chegutu-based gospel artist Tafadzwa Chiwaridzo has said Africa is a peaceful place to live.
“I am very grateful to our ancestors who brought this continental thing, Africa Day, where we celebrate our African identity. As a gospel artist, I thank God for being African and we are even recognized since the one who carried the cross of Jesus Christ on the road to Calvary was an African and once again Jesus sought refuge in Africa when Herod wanted to kill male children. Chiwaridzo said.
“This clearly indicates that we are highly recognized even in the Bible, which describes Africa as a peaceful place where the Son of God has found it appropriate to hide from the brutal murders of siblings in his birthplace.
“I advise other artists to be proud to be African and to use our own language to preach the gospel of Africanism,” he said.
ZORA music guru Leonard Karikoga Zhakata implored upcoming artists to focus on music that condemns violence in Africa.
“I urge all musicians to put an African flavor in all the songs we sing,” Zhakata said.
“We must understand that Africa Day is not only a day but it is a day that bears the history of the liberation of an African continent. It is a day when we talk about the development of Africa and living keep our African identity through music, theater and even paint.
“The older generation of musicians mainly focused on maintaining African culture. Some think it was political but it is not that. It was an idea to defend Pan-Africanism as well as the revolutionary spirit of our ancestors who spurred decolonization.
Zhakata urged young artists not to disappoint the older musical generation, but to stay focused and stand up for African identity.
He said musicians should love their identity and not advocate for violence in Africa.
“We must strongly condemn this practice and call for a lasting peace,” he said.