The United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) is set to inscribe the art of crafting and playing Mbira on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The announcement on Thursday is part of the ongoing 15th session of the five-day Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which is running online and ends on Saturday.
The nomination of mbira to the representative list has been done jointly with Malawi where the instrument is called Sansi. A statement on the examination of nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco noted that the art of crafting and playing Mbira/Sansi, plays a key role in the communities concerned.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director, Nicholas Moyo welcomed the inclusion of the Mbira on the prestigious Unesco list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
“We’re very excited about this inscription which has the effect of bringing a local element, which is the art of crafting and playing mbira, on the international platform as a recognised heritage product. This also is an important acknowledgement that Mbira is indeed a Zimbabwean product,” Moyo said.
He added that the proclamation provided renewed impetus for NACZ to put more pressure and institute new dialogue with relevant stakeholders on the issue of introducing the craft of making and playing the Mbira at schools.
The inscription of the Mbira on the Unesco list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity follows the similar listing of the Jerusarema Mbende Dance.