Children from the Pfarelo Cultural Group performing the malende dance during the Heritage Day celebrations at Lukau Tshishivhe last Saturday. Photo: Victor Mukwevho.

Negondeni pleads for support to keep cultural activities alive


Tshilamba-based cultural activist Ms Pfarelo Negondeni reiterated her previous assertion that a lack of financial support is one of the primary causes of the decline in cultural activities in the country at the moment.

Speaking at the Heritage Day celebrations held at the open grounds next to her house in Lukau Tshishivhe on Saturday, 23 September, she said, “People no longer want to learn about their cultural dances as they used to, primarily because there is no financial support to assist those who are willing to keep these cultural activities alive. Parents are no longer interested in teaching the youth about their heritage because running such programmes is costly. Many youngsters attend private schools nowadays and don’t even speak their mother tongue fluently anymore. It’s English everywhere. Have we forgotten who we are as a people?” she asked.

Negondeni, a single mother of two, started her own cultural group called Pfarelo Cultural Group four years ago to teach young people about their culture and traditions. “I have more than 80 children who practise at my house during the week and on weekends. I have to organise traditional dresses for the girls and vhugoni (traditional underwear) for the boys, and it is very expensive.”

She pointed out that neither the government nor the business community is prepared to assist up-and-coming cultural groups. “They are only interested in supporting those who are already famous, just for the sake of camera flashes. They know that when they assist well-established cultural groups supported by politicians, the media will come and provide them with more exposure. However, when they help people like us, who are less fortunate, the media do not usually cover our stories. We are sidelined from both sides.”

Negondeni stated that she had approached many donors in search of assistance, but to no avail. “If I fail to secure sponsorship soon, I will have no other option but to close shop as I am also struggling to support my own family,” she said.


Entertainment - Date: 30 September 2023

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Victor Mukwevho

Victor Mukwevho Ne-vumbani joined the Mirror during it's inception in 1990. He joined the SABC newsroom in 1995, and was known by  listeners as "A u fhedzisela ari". He was a news editor for The Tembisan Newspaper from 2007 to 2015. He rejoined the Limpopo Mirror newspaper in June 2022 as a freelance journalist.

Email: [email protected]