Zimbabwe: A Country with a Variety of Styles
2018 is a special year for ChinaAfrica relations. The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on ChinaAfrica Cooperation (FOCAC) was held in September. Over the decades, China and many African countries have maintained a good relationship and worked together to promote mutual beneficial cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative and FOCAC will further advance mutual benefit for Chinese and African peoples.
Zimbabwe is located in southeastern Africa. It borders Mozambique to the east, South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west and Zambia to the northwest. The country features rich natural resources and developed industries, with manufacturing, agriculture and mining industries as its three major economic pillars. It is one of a few countries with a large number of African elephants.
A staff member at Zimbabwe's booth at the third “Colourful World—cultural Exhibition of Countries along the Belt and Road” event communicated with visitors enthusiastically and introduced the country. They pointed to elephant sculptures and talked about elephants' trunks: “Some of them tilt their trunks upward while some are slouched. Elephants often let them go slack at sunrise and raise them at sunset when they take a bath.” The wooden elephant sculptures displayed at the booth feature different forms and styles, demonstrating Zimbabwean people's affection for the animal.
Zimbabwe is famous for producing highquality crocodile skin. Local people are familiar with crocodiles and make many wooden crocodile figures. The booth also featured wooden figures of giraffes, porcupines, fish, leopards and hippos, attracting many visitors. The figures represented the richness of Zimbabwe's diverse species.
The country has a wealth of natural resources, and its people utilise them effectively to create a beautiful life. Zimbabweans combine colourful strips of cloth with plant material to make handbags. Excavated gems are polished to make a variety of ornaments. Local leather drums are usually decorated with patterns featuring national characteristics. Stone bowls and pestles are carefully polished, leading to a beautiful appearance that provides a good decoration for daily life. The Zimbabwe booth at the event also featured posters of its national emblem and flag, animals, landscapes and people's lives.
The coat of arms of Zimbabwe symbolises and depicts many aspects of the country. This national emblem features a green shield. There are 14 wavy white and blue lines at the top in the chief argent section. A representation of the ancient Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe is depicted in the main section. The wavy white and blue lines represent Victoria Falls and water in general, which brings prosperity to Zimbabwe. There are strips of silky gold and green, representing the national financial enterprise and protection of the economy. A hoe and a rifle are in the background, which celebrate the struggle for peace and democracy. There is a kudu on the left and right, each standing on top of a mound of earth composed of stalks of wheat, a pile of cotton and a head of maize, which are used to eulogise the harvest and historical tradition. A banner emblazoned with the Zimbabwean national motto—"unity, Freedom, Work”—is featured at the bottom.
A striking photo of Victoria Falls was on display at the booth also. It is one of the three largest waterfalls in the world and the largest in width (1,800 m) and height (108 m). It lies on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. European explorer David Livingstone discovered the waterfall in 1855 and named it after Queen Victoria. Victoria Falls has become world-famous and is now a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction.
Photos of landscapes and other exhibits at the booth enabled visitors to experience the fascinating charm of the country. Zimbabwe has promoted friendly relations between China and African countries and holds China's Belt and Road Initiative in good regard. The country calls on African peoples to participate in its development within the framework of the Forum on ChinaAfrica Cooperation. Staff members from the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe stated that participating in the “Colourful World” event demonstrated Zimbabwe's support for the Belt and Road Initiative.