Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has set aside a total of K192, 000 for support to cultural events and traditional ceremonies this year.
Acting community relations manager Brian Siatubi, who comfirmed the company’s commitment to supporting cultural events, said through support to cultural activities, KCM had established a continuous sustainable model for stakeholder engagement which had received broad community support.
Mr Siatubi said KCM believed that cultural dances and traditional ceremonies continued to serve as platforms where cultural heritage was passed on from one generation to the next, and help to maintain peace and stability.
He said a total of 30 youths from the 36 cultural groups that KCM supports have been sponsored to participate at national events and have been equipped with skills that have enhanced their livelihoods.
Mr Siatubi said the mine had a cultural festival at the weekend to showcase Zambia’s rich cultural heritage through songs and dances as the country celebrated 50 years of Independence.
And nine cultural groups from three towns, Chililabombwe, Chingola and Kitwe, gathered in Chingola’s Chiwempala Township to participate in the festival.
Meanwhile, Chingola district commissioner Roy Nang’alelwa said the preservation of culture was vital to every society as it helped to maintain peace and stability, which was key to national development.
“This is why the Government has placed high premium on the promotion of art and culture which are driven by the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, with special focus on traditional chiefs as agents of development at the local level.” he said. He said it was gratifying to note that Konkola Copper Mines had been playing a significant role in promoting arts and culture in Zambia in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Mr Nang’alelwa said the gesture demonstrated KCM’s continued partnership with the Government in nation-building and as one of the industry leaders in terms of responsible corporate citizenship.
He said in the last 10 years of Vedanta’s presence in Zambia, it had been instrumental in mobilising dance troupes to hold free weekend cultural events with more than 720 people participating in the activities.
“There could not have been a better way of celebrating the Golden Jubilee than to show the people where we have come from through drama, song and dance, adding that people without the knowledge of their history, origin and culture is like “a tree without a root,” he said. Mr Nang’alelwa said Zambia had enjoyed continued peace and stability for the past half a century.