SCHOOLS CULTURE ASSOCIATIONS HEADED FOR SOUTH AFRICA

SCHOOLS CULTURE ASSOCIATIONS HEADED FOR SOUTH AFRICA

The eSwatini Schools Arts and Culture National Associations has taken forty (40) students and more than thirty (30) teachers and officials on a week-long workshop and training to Bloemfontein, South Africa, courtesy of Macmillan Education eSwatini. The schools consist of both primary and high schools from across the four regions of the country. The students left on Sunday, June 30 and will come back on July 4 and while in the republic they will be
engaged on lessons on the essence of preserving culture traditions, learning new skills and which they will display at local and international level as well a way to contribute towards the growth and domestic product (GDP).
The associations that left include drum and theater, umbholoho, poetry and African dance. Eswatini Schools Arts and Culture National Associations (ESACNA) Chairman, Edward Ngwenya said also they had taken culture in the schools as a serious vocation which contributes towards employment to students long after they have left school. He said as the schools associations they were aware that not all children will end up in offices but some will display natural talents as a way to eke out a living. Funding for the trip comes from the E250 000 that was donated by Macmillan to the association in June. The chairman said despite the many challenges that the associations have faced, they have remained resilient in producing, safeguarding, maintaining and re-creating the intangible cultural heritage elements imbedded in cultural performing arts. He said the culture performances in the country’s national ceremonies and national competitions have improved and envisaged doing even better where monetary benefits would follow. The Schools Culture Competitions is a key event in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs
calendar and continues to play a significant role as a resource for cultural, social, economic, political,
and spiritual development in the communities and country. He urged companies and other stakeholders to
partner with Macmillan Education eSwatini and the ministry in supporting cultural competitions. Ngwenya said eSwatini is a country blessed with a rich culture that must be cherished and preserved for the benefit of the citizens. Eswatini is a signatory to the UNESCO Conventions on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of
Cultural Expressions (2005) and the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) both of which were ratified in 2011. Schools Competitions underscore the significant role culture and drama plays in recognizing and
appreciating cultural diversity as a common heritage of all emaSwati, Ngwenya. Minister of Sports, Culture and
Youth Affairs, Harries ‘Madze’ during displays by the associations in June in Matsapha said if well branded,
eSwatini’s rich cultural diversity increases the range of choices for recreation while giving the country
an opportunity to promote local, regional and international cultural tourism.‘’It is for this reason that this heritage should be treasured, conserved and safeguarded for the good of all our communities,’’ said the minister.
He said cultural competitions are also a true manifestation of government’s commitment towards promoting
democracy, tolerance, social justice and mutual respect between people and cultures, adding that this year’s competitions would see an improved number of participants compared to 2018. The minister was not unaware
that cultural competitions could be major cultural exchange events and carnivals that would boost local and
international cultural tourism.

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