Have you ever tasted meat roasted from the surface of a rock? If not and keen to try it then you might be in for a treat if you make your way to Amagugu International Heritage Centre in Zimbabwe, 60km along the Bulawayo Kezi road for the Matobo Heritage Festival.

The festival which began yesterday will run up to the 5th of August and promises to be an unforgettable music, dance and drumming experience in the Matobo Hills. It will also include traditional dances and games under the theme:  ‘Enhancing awareness of indigenous cultural heritage’.

The programmes manager of the centre, Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi, told local media that the festival is aimed at educating students from schools and tertiary institutions about African heritage.

“The festival is designed primarily for institutions of learning. The desire is to be an educational festival, and we want to be responsive to the demands of the new education curriculum. We are rural based enterprises and our aim is to promote rural based talents and preserve various cultural heritage elements in Matopo, which have been marginalised by contemporary setups which undermine the importance of traditional culture,” he told the Sunday News.

Traditional games have always played an important role in the African community. Photo: Amagugu heritage

Festival goers will also have an opportunity to visit the Njelele shrine keeper who will give information about the mysterious shrine in Zimbabwe where ordinary people are forbidden to enter.

Kgosi Nyathi added that the festival would not violate the restrictions of the Njelele shrine but would create an opportunity for people to interact with the keeper of the shrine.

According to Amagugu Heritage website other activities will include, viewing of rock art films In the Bush, Traditional court simulations, eco fashion show, storytelling, traditional games, dance and music, visual art lessons, crafts exhibitions, braai on the rocks and mountain climbing.

Yesterday, students from a local school enjoyed craft exhibition featuring a new range of basketry products by Matobo artisans following an intensive design and production mentorship support programme.

The site documents, preserves and promotes indigenous cultural heritage. AIHC was established in 2010 through the vision of renowned historian Pathisa Nyathi, the founding director and owner.

Matobo was declared as World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2003. Look out for the pictures, videos and more from this festival on our social media pages.

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