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Maduvha Netshakhuma from Makonde is passing her skills and knowledge on to the younger generation in her village. Photo: Silas Nduvheni.

Netshakhuma prides herself on preserving and promoting her culture

 

Maduvha Netshakhuma, from the rural village of Makonde near Khubvi, prides herself on contributing positively to the preservation of the Vhavenda heritage and culture. At the age of just 20, she has started a cultural project called the Maduvhahafani Art Culture, through which she teaches young girls from her village the cultural norms of the Vhavenda people, traditional dances, and how to wear Tshivenda cultural attire, among many other things.

Netshakhuma said she was turning the clock back to the 1980s, when black was still beautiful. She said she was worried about the youth of today, who seemed to be forgetting their culture and traditions. “Today we are on skin surgeries and treatments to beautify ourselves, instead of leaving our African skin as it is and being proud to be young muvenda girls. We are forgetting where we come from. We should be wearing our cultural clothes such as the mashedo, minwenda, and misisi from our forefathers again. I am a young Venda girl from a royal family and I’m proud to be preserving my heritage,” she said.

Netshakhuma is currently busy upgrading her matric. She said she did not have a building of her own at the moment, so she did all her cultural practices and dances at the nearby river and in the mountain. “I am growing my own legacy. I am surely holding the key to the pot filled with wealth and wisdom for this new generation. I chose to do this because I saw many kids starting to smoke and live recklessly at a young age. There are so many unplanned pregnancies, and this leads to teen marriages.”

She said she was proud that, since she had taken young girls from her village in to teach, they had found something meaningful to fill their days after school. “These children are really enjoying learning where they originally come from, and they are shining and rising. I always tell them that the days of dancing to the western culture are over. We must beat the ngomalungundu (Vhavenda traditional drum, used during wars) and re-plant our roots,” she said.

Netshakhuma was also invited to the Limpopo heritage celebration at Zwigodini village on 24 September, where she performed Vhavenda cultural praises on stage.

 

Entertainment - Date: 20 October 2023

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Silas Nduvheni

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