Food, Arts and Culture of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is home to world’s most popular attraction the Victoria Falls. But what make Zimbabwe more popular and special is the way in which its true culture and tradition is still kept alive. The people of Zimbabwe are very warm-hearted and passionate. Although, the safety situation in the country keeps it from becoming a top travel destination like South Africa, sharing the same continent. Yet, it is an adventure in itself to be explored and experienced.

The easiest and most economical way to get in is through the International Airport Harare. Daily and weekly flights fly from almost all UK airports. Cheap flights to Harare, Zimbabwe are available with Air Zimbabwe, the direct airline to Harare and also with some indirect flights involving connections via Johannesburg.

Apart from the numerous art culture and dance festival, the vibrant country Zimbabwe is also a centre of some of Africa’s most popular cuisines and artifacts. The traditional arts in Zimbabwe include pottery, basketry, textiles, jewellery, and carving. The unique art although, that makes it different form many other parts of Africa is the perseverance of the art and distinctive qualities of symmetrically patterned woven baskets and stools carved out of a single piece of wood. Out of the many, the “Shona sculpture”, emerged in 1940s has evolved as a world famous attraction. Shona sculpture in essence has been a fusion of African folklore with European influences. Internationally famous artists include Henry Mudzengerere and Nicolas Mukomeranwa. A recurring theme in Zimbabwean art is the metamorphosis of man into beast.

From the pre-historic records, it is seen that most of the art forms in African continent as a whole as based on wood, stone, carving and painting techniques using the elements form nature itself. The inspiration for the designs is also nature, most subjects of carved figures of wild birds and human figures among others are made with sedimentary rocks such as soapstone, as well as harder igneous rocks such as serpentine and the rare stone verdite. The larger stone sculptures and tools made out of stone are also kept in the national museum.

The Folk traditions of Zimbabwe, have survived in dance and pottery. Zimbabwean musicians like Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mutukudzi, the Bhundu Boys and Audius Mtawarira have achieved international recognition by dint of their distinctive abilities and unique genre of music.

Like many other Africans, a majority of Zimbabweans depend on a few staple foods. “Mealie meal” (cornmeal) is used to prepare bota, a porridge made by mixing the cornmeal with water to produce a thick paste. It is a very vitalizing dish. Another dish called the Sadza, is commonly eaten with curdled milk, commonly known as lacto (mukaka wakakora), or a small dried fish called kapenta (matemba). On special occasions, rice and chicken with cabbage salad is served as the main meal that is very delicious and mouth watering.

Zimbabwean recipes consisting of meat, beef and chicken to a lesser extent are especially popular and worth a try.

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