Jikinya Dance Festival set for tomorrow

HARARE - Music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton will host the 13th edition of Jikinya Dance Festival tomorrow where 10 provincial primary school champions will battle it out for the $2 000 first prize.

The Jikinya Dance Festival is organised by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) with support from Delta Beverages and Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust. The annual competition aims to encourage primary schoolchildren to appreciate and perform traditional dances.

Schools participating in this year’s edition include Khami (Bulawayo) Chembira (Harare), St Peters Tokoyo (Manicaland), Chipindura (Mashonaland Central), St Joseph Goromonzi (Mashonaland East),  Chiguvare (Mashonaland West), Mlelezi (Masvingo), Ndlovu (Matabeleland North, Tokwana (Matabeleland South and Matenda Primary school (Midlands province).

Nacz communications and marketing officer Cathrine Mthombeni said this year’s edition, which is running under the theme “preserving cultural heritage and identity,” has been boosted by the increase of the prize money.

“This year, we have increased the winner’s prize from $1 500 to $2 000. Number two is going to pocket $1 500; third position will get $1 000 and number four $500.

“Number five to 10 will receive consolation prizes of $200 each. The school that will win the Professor Hope Sadza Trophy for Outstanding Common Dance will walk away with $500,” said Mthombeni.

She emphasised the importance of the common dance.

“Schools will showcase a dance of their choice as well as the common dance that is Ihosanna dance. Four years ago, Nacz introduced a system whereby a specific dance is selected as a festival piece that runs for two years and is judged as a common dance. The common dance was introduced so that all participating children, despite their regions can learn, perform and appreciate diverse Zimbabwean cultures,” she said.