The Sunday Mail
LET Them Trust, an organisation that runs the annual Schools Arts Festival, has acquired 15 hectares of land to build an arts centre in Domboshava.
Under the directorship of the arts guru, Chido Musasiwa, the centre will be run as a youth village specialising in teaching local traditions, heritage and the different cultures of the people of Zimbabwe.
Musasiwa, who is the founder and executive producer of Let Them Trust, said they are planning to construct a structure that will enable children from the local community to attend communal classes.
“This youth village will be a camping facility that offers learning opportunities through music, dance, theatre and storytelling.
“Most families do not even sit down to discuss these important topics, about where we came from, our traditions and culture. So we sat down as a board and agreed to come up with a place that would provide such a platform,” she said.
Domboshava is located approximately 30 kilometres from the capital city Harare.
“We will develop the youth village on the virgin land we have obtained in an area with a large granite hill that attracts tourists and locals. Besides hiking and scaling the hill, tourists can explore its caves that contain over 6000-year-old cave paintings,” said Musasiwa.
Musasiwa intends to ensure that the village provides activities that will not only remind the people of Zimbabwe of their culture, but also keep them healthy and captivated.
“The village will see visitors enjoying conservation walks and talks, volleyball and other sports, music and theatre workshops, rock climbing and abseiling points, commando courses, local arts and crafts, and a gallery with shops run by resident artistes.
“There will be environmentally sustainable gardening. The inclusion of a garden and small-scale farm will provide training in traditional horticultural practices, as well as provide sustainable food sources for visiting students during their stay,” she said.
Musasiwa said there are several tribes in Zimbabwe, all with different ancient architectural styles. She plans to construct her youth village under the guidance of these traditional styles.
“The hut clusters will form the accommodation part of the village and a communal building will be used as the kitchen, thus forming a homestead. For structural integrity, durability and safety, we will use modern building materials for the core structures. A structure built using traditional materials for the internal and outer layers shall provide the aesthetics needed to portray the traditional architectural styles,” she said.
Meanwhile, Let Them Trust will be hosting its annual Schools Arts Festival, a two-day event that is open to schools from around Zimbabwe, from July 5 to 7 at Harare Polytechnic Grounds.