Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
THE city of Bulawayo celebrates 126 years as a city today.

The day which has been named Bulawayo Day will see numerous activities taking place online during the course of the week as part of the celebrations.

The city of Kings and Queens as Bulawayo is affectionately known, is regarded as Zimbabwe’s cultural hub. It is home to talented artistes, renowned sports personalities, revered scribes, posh nightspots, renowned politicians and is a boiling pot of academics.

Plans to celebrate the day in style have been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 national lockdown which has banned gatherings as part of measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Organisers have however come up with alternatives to celebrate Kontuthu Ziyathunqa’s 126 years and these include virtual/online pop up events as from Wednesday to Friday which will be available on the city council’s Facebook page.

Esabantu as Skyz Metro FM is known in the city, will today hold a session of playing 100 songs that have rocked the city during the past 126 years. Hosted by presenters Babongile Skhonjwa, Donna B, BKay, Mjox and Khekhe, the event will be streamed from 7am to 6pm.

Meanwhile, Chronicle Showbiz took time to interact with personalities from different sectors of the city to discover what makes them proud to be from Bulawayo.

Radio personality Babongile Sikhonjwa, said: “Everything about the city excites me so much. The people, the love and the attitude of the people, Bulawayo people are proud of their city and I love that.

“I love the way we get excited when we meet each other in foreign lands and we just link up. I am glad to be a part of this city as well as being part of the first commercial radio station (Skyz Metro FM) in this great city,” said Sikhonjwa.

One of the Twitter kings in the city, Nkululeko Nkala said today is a day to reflect on the city’s achievements.

“Being proudly Bulawayo by birth, I join the city’s residents to celebrate this milestone achievement.

“This is our birthday as a city. It’s a time to look back and remember those that flew this city’s flag high whether living or late. It’s also a time to consume diversity and dream for a better and prosperous Bulawayo,” said Nkala.

Musician Madlela Skhobokhobo said due to the city’s hospitality, it has been home to many people from different tribes.

“Bulawayo has become home to many people from different parts of the world. I think Bulawayo is the only city where you are most certain to find all tribes of this country. You are certain there is a Sotho, Xhosa, Nambya, Kalanga, Venda, Shona and Nguni.That is our pride becaue we lead when it comes to co-existing,” said Madlela.

Intwasa arts festival director Raisedon Baya said: “The city is clean, culturally rich and as an artiste, it has given me opportunities and platforms to practice my art.”

Model Ginger Ellie said: “I am proud to be from Bulawayo because it’s a city that accommodates everyone. People work together regardless of race, tribe and religion. We appreciate everyone and accept our uniqueness.”

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association secretary for administration Thembelani Dube said: “Bulawayo @126 is a celebration of cultural diversity. It also reminds us of the perseverance and endurance the residents of Bulawayo continue to exhibit. The day also helps us to affirm that Bulawayo is the epitome of peace and tolerance and that we can regain our status as the country’s industrial hub if all factors are given due attention,” he said. – @mthabisi_mthire.