Social cohesion and nation-building were on top of the list as the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation hosted its annual week-long Mpumalanga Cultural Xperience.
The seventh edition of this event saw different cultural groups coming out to showcase themselves on the streets of Mbombela from Tuesday.
Celebrating cultural diversity, a parade of colourful and vibrant groups brought Mbombela to a standstill showcasing the province’s rich heritage and culture.
MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture Thandi Shongwe says they have achieved their goal of promoting social cohesion in the province.
“I think we have achieved the aim of the event, as you can see here today, we want to promote social cohesion so that is why there are different cultural groups that are here, we want each one of them to learn from one another in terms of culture, we have Khoi-San, Zulu, Tsonga, Swati and also Pedi. We bring them together so we can promote unity,” Shongwe explains.
The festivities range from Film Festival Xperience, Marathon Xperience and the Gospel Music Festival. The event brings a much-needed economic injection for the province.
”This year our budget went down from 10 million to 5,3 million. We had to scale down on some of the pillars but this one is the main pillar as you have seen we are also doing a traditional pillar. The gospel festival taking place on the 11th of December is one of the biggest pillars of this festival. In terms of the economic spin-off, we are achieving a lot because when we host such events restaurants and hotels are all fully booked so we know they are also gaining a lot during these celebrations,” adds Shongwe.
This year’s event returned in full swing after some activities were halted in the past two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. -Reporting by Nhlamulo Mabasa