Zims in UK launch cultural project

Zimbabweans in the UK gathered on Friday to celebrate the launch of Zimbabwe Unwound, a new cultural project from the Zimbabwe Association.

Mashasha in action at the launch.
Mashasha in action at the launch.

The launch featured music from Mashasha and Sam and poetry from Kennedy Hondo. Zimbabwe Unwound aims to give Zimbabwean musicians, poets, and artists in the diaspora a platform to showcase their artistic talents.

Planned events include film nights and a literature showcase.

Sarah Harland, ZA coordinator, said that with only a few Zimbabweans still going through the British asylum system, the ZA hopes to provide a social setting for those in the UK to enjoy. “A lot of our members now have some kind of status in the UK, and are asking for cultural events and opportunities to get together and enjoy music and art from home,” Harland said.

Gladys Mabvira, who first arrived in the UK a decade ago, agreed that cultural events were important to the diaspora community.

“Living here, we only experience British culture, and many people came here when they were only 12 years old, so don’t know anything about Zimbabwean culture like Mbira music. It’s nice to be among fellow Zimbabweans and reminisce about back home,” she said.

“The project seeks to dig deeper into the fabric of what makes Zimbabweans – regardless of their current circumstances – and seeks to harness their varied traits by creating an apolitical forum in which they can interact,” a spokesman for the organisation said.

Kennedy Hondo, a poet who also runs Diaspora Publishers, agreed that such events were important.

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