We had the honour of hosting on Wednesday 12 December the launch of the book Preservation of Ndebele Arts and Architecture. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, the book has chapter contributions by Pathisa Nyathi, Professor John Knight, Clifford Zulu and Andre F. van Rooyen. Editors are Violette Kee-Tui and Pathisa Nyathi.
Courtesy of a grant under the auspices of the USA Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, the book documents the art of traditional hut painting as practiced by women in Matobo district. The structural outlay of Ndebele homesteads is also explored and its symbolism unpacked.
The guest of honour at the launch was His Excellency, the USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian A. Nichols.
The book is highly recommended particularly for those interested in understanding Ndebele hut painting – when it is done, by whom, how and for what purpose.
The book is not for sale but copies will be available in local libraries for greater public access.
Pictures show highlights of what was an awesome day.
Ambassador Brian A Nichols hands over a copy of the book to daughter of painted home owner
Ambassador Brian A. Nichols holds a copy of the book handed over by Pathisa Nyathi
The United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian A. Nichols, will be at Amagugu International Heritage Centre on Wednesday 1 2 December 2018. The occasion is the launch of the book Preservation of Ndebele Art and Architecture. Chapter contributions in the book are by Pathisa Nyathi, Clifford Zulu, Andre F. van Rooyen and John Knight. Editors are Pathisa Nyathi and Violette Kee Tui. The book documents traditional hut painting as practised in Matobo District. Vernacular architecture, as epitomised by rondavel huts and outlay of Ndebele homesteads, is also a core focus of the book. The project is funded under the auspices of the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. Copies of the book will be available in local libraries.
Invitation to Book Launch – Preservation of Ndebele Art and Architecture
Thursday 22 November 2018 was an awesome day. We played host to over 25 organisations from across Zimbabwe and Africa who convened at Amagugu under the banner of the National Transitional Justice Working Group.
NPRC Chairman Justice Selo Nare leading a session
The day was a day of discussions. Discussions about truth telling, healing and forgiveness. Part of the institutions on the day was the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission led by its chairman Justice Selo Nare and Commissioner Choice Ndoro. Not only were the conversations robust and illuminating, the gathering of the delegates in our gazebo demonstrated the vitality and utilitarian value of our place and space.
Set up of the day
We did something different and it came out just fine. Amagugu International Heritage Centre is open for business!
In fulfillment of our obligation as accredited NGO advisor to the UNESCO 2003 Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage, Amagugu International Heritage Centre is in Mauritius observing the 13th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). The Committee meeting is an annual gathering and serves to review the work of st
Amagugu Observor Status
ate parties in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. At the Committee meetings, accredited NGOs under the banner of the ICH NGO Forum convene side events to explore strategies on how best to complement the work of state parties. Our Programs Manager Butholezwe Nyathi had the opportunity to share with the UNESCO Director General Ms Audrey Aozulay highlights of our cultural heritage interventions in Zimbabwe.
Butholezwe Nyathi (left) with Audrey Azoulay
Amagugu remains committed to contribute to enhanced protection and promotion of ICH at the global level. #amaguguheritage #13COM
Courtesy of support from the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South, Amagugu International Heritage Centre commissioned on 15 November 2018 a solar powered electricity supply system. Also commissioned was a 5000 litre water tank. The project is valued at US$10 000.
5000litre water tank
The two investments are set to improve the experiences of our guests. With power supply, we will effective 2019 be expanding our programming into the night by hosting storytelling sessions targeting particularly visitors coming for camping. Stable water supply is also important for the hygiene of our guests.
We take this opportunity to publicly express our gratitude to the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South for their kind gesture.
Benevolent Benefactor -Rotary Club of Bulawayo South
One of the fascinating experiences for students visiting Amagugu International Heritage Centre are visits to the Njelele shrine keeper. Take note, visits are to the shrine keeper’s homestead and not the shrine itself.
Seasonal visits to the shrine and rituals conducted are explained to the students. Artefacts found on the site and their use are also explained. The same applies to regalia worn, dances and songs performed during the rain making festivities.
Role simulation of Njelele shrine rituals
As accredited advisor to the UNESCO 2003 Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage, Amagugu International Heritage Centre values these experiences as they are central to the preservation of local intangible cultural heritage.
The proclamation of Matobo as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003 is partly premised on the symbolism of Njelele as a rain making shrine.
Schol children following proceedings attentively
Tour Guide Mr. Dube demonstrates to students the various items that were used in the Ndebele kitchen (umkulu) and their specific usages.
As part of our cultural heritage experience, we have a traditional kitchen which provides insight into utensils used in a traditional Ndebele kitchen. Traditional sitting arrangements between women and men are discussed. True to our participatory orientation, students visiting the Centre get to have a feel of grinding millet using a pebble and grinding stone. A pestle and mortar are also available for an experiential feel. Our annual Traditional Food and Beverages Expo compliments this standard tour experience.
At the invitation of UNESCO, Amagugu International Heritage Centre (AIHC) participated as an observer at the 7th General Assembly of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention held in Paris, France from 4 – 6 June 2018. Continue reading
Beautiful scenes from the recently held Amagugu Lovers Retreat in partnership with Umahlekisa Comedy Club. Our guests were treated to a host of activities including a visit to view San rock art, mountain climbing, tour of murals which depict pre-colonial Ndebele culture, braai on the rocks and a traditional meal. #amaguguheritage
The famous Njelele mountain
Tour of murals
Viewing san rock art