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How Zimbabweans celebrate New Year in Australia

(From left) Mrs Ratidzo Ziyambi, Mabasa Ziyambi, Axon Dutiro, Webster Nyakudya and Tafadzwa Mutambudzi

Bernard Muchemwa, Diaspora Correspondent

NEW Year’s eve bring nostalgic memories to Zimbabweans living in Australia, and reminds them about everything good about the Motherland.

Their early years were full of loneliness, and they would spend time in their homes talking to relatives back home and reflecting on how they missed such big days.

There are no big nights with the likes of Jah Prayzah taking revellers into the New Year.

But not to be daunted, they soon awoke from the deep slumber and they now alight the cities with a Zimbabwean way of celebrating the year.


The way Zimbabweans celebrate the New Year here is not ubiquitous.

The New Year is celebrated in different ways, but it is always something to remember.

The bottom line is to celebrate life and the hard work put in during the year.

It is the only time when families and friends can have a longer night together due to pressures of work.

Most people preferred to spend the night into 2020 at church where they sang and danced till 12am and the clock was greeted with wild cheers, more singing and prayers.

The big churches with a big Zimbabwean following are ZAOGA, GPM and AFM which are Zimbabwean based and with more Zimbabwean congregants.

The atmosphere is always pregnant with exuberance, ululation, heavy prayers and loud singing and sermons which give hope to the New Year.

They are laced with Bible citations which give hope.

Most people prefer this way to try and avoid the hassle and bustling of the cities nights where all sorts of rowdy behaviour happens, some which can be tragic.

We have another group choosing the homestead to spend the night. Here people normally do what is commonly called BYO; bring your own, say a piece of meat to BBQ, soft drinks and beer.


There will be music blaring top Zimbabwean songs, giggling, chatting and chattering.

In some cases traditional food like sadza, rice with peanut butter, matumbu makuru, mazondo, cow heads, chimukuyu and wound up goat intestines will be served.

This is the time when such Zimbabwean cuisine is served at once in buffet style

There are family dinners away from the crowds as miniature replicas of the larger groups dotted around the cities of Australia. Some spend most of the night communicating with relatives about the year in the impending New Year.

Younger Zimbabweans prefer to go to the city centres to watch fireworks which illuminate the whole country and ending up in clubs till dawn.

The period offers some families and other people an opportunity to travel out of their vicinities to outer places, but this year such movements were restricted due to the ongoing bushfires which have been flaming on for a month and have left a trail of destruction. This has also limited movements of people and put a damper on this year’s celebrations.

The soaring temperatures recorded on the day with mercury hitting record numbers averaging 46 degrees Celsius also played a part in keeping many Zimbabweans indoors.