Calls for refurbishment of Nambya Community Museum intensify

by Fairness Moyana, for the Sunday News

CALLS to complete the refurbishment of the Nambya Community Museum in Hwange which has been lying in ruins for seven years have intensified with  the community calling on Government through its heritage arm, National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe to speed up the process.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting to map the way forward at the museum last week, Nambya Cultural Association chairperson Mr Gabriel Ncube said the meeting was meant to come up with a resolution on the refurbishment of the museum building which was donated by Hwange Colliery Company at the time of its establishment in 2006.

“We gathered here for a common cause, that of seeing the completion of the refurbishment of our museum so it can be accessible to the public after realising that there was little activity since its establishment in 2006.

“I’m glad to say this was a serious meeting which brought all concerns or problems being faced by our people in their day to day lives, be it employment, business opportunities or education and we came up with recommendations,” he said.

He said the meeting had resolved to contribute towards the refurbishment of the museum by embarking on fundraising projects instead of waiting for donors.

The museum’s establishment was nearly stopped when the Tonga and Nambya people clashed over the name of the heritage site with the former insisting that it be named Hwange museum while the latter settled for Nambya Community.

The Nambya people were basing their argument on the fact that the Tonga people already had a museum exclusively for them in Binga called the Tonga Community Museum.

The fissures led to the withdrawal of a potential donor from the project dealing a heavy blow to the refurbishment of the museum which was subsequently named the Nambya Community Museum.

Mr Ncube bemoaned the resistance by some schools in the district in teaching the Nambya language which he said was not for economic gain but important in preserving the language and uniting the community.

“As an association representing the Nambya people we are disappointed to learn that there are still some schools that are not teaching the language as per Government policy as evidenced by the number of schools that sat for the exam. This year I’m told that 22 schools out of 93 in the district sat for the exam and we are saying that though the pass rate was impressive stakeholders can do more in making sure that it is taught in all schools,” said Ncube.

Another resident, Mr Lawrence  Ndlovu said it was high time Government prioritised the finalisation of the museum as the development was long overdue thereby affecting the cultural heritage of the Nambya people.

“Government should speed up the completion of the museum which is now long overdue. This place is important to the Nambya people, the community of Hwange and nation in general in terms of preserving our cultural heritage for future generations,” he said.