Manicaland school wins Jikinya Dance Festival

NORTON - Manicaland's St Peters Tokoyo Primary School emerged winners of the annual Jikinya Dance Festival after outshining other nine primary schools drawn from the country’s 10 provinces at an event held on Friday at superstar Oliver Mtukudzi’s state-of- the-art Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton.

The festival — graced by permanent secretary of Sport, Arts and Culture Thokozile Chitepo who was representing Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Heritage minister Abednico Ncube — saw the winning school — St Peters Tokoyo who performed Zhana dance — pocketing the first prize of $2 000 and a shield trophy.

St Joseph Primary School from Mashonaland East province who showcased Chinyambera dance were placed on second position and they took home $1 500 and a shield trophy while Matabeleland North’s Ndlovu school grabbed the third place which earned them $1 000 and a shield trophy after performing Mbende dance.

On fourth place were the representatives of Mashonaland West province — Chiguvare Primary School — who performed Chinyambera dance and they received $500 to their efforts plus a shield trophy.

St Peters Tokoyo school trainer Taurai Moyo was ecstatic after clinching the top prize.

“Our secret of winning lies in deep research, we took our time researching key components of the dance genre we performed and we showcased it to perfection.

“Last year, we participated in this festival but we failed to make it into the best four and that instead of discouraging us forced us to work harder. Hence, we are very glad to be this year’s champions,” he said.

Other schools that participated were Khami (Bulawayo) Umdadada, Chembira (Harare) Mbakumba, Chipindura (Mashonaland Central) Mbende, Chimbwembwe, Mlelezi (Masvingo) Dinhe, Ndlovu (Matabeleland North (Mbende), Tokwana (Matabeleland South) Amabhiza and Matenda Primary School in Midlands province who performed Mbakumba dance.

The annual event ran under the theme — Preserving Cultural Heritage and Identity — and it aims at encouraging primary school children to appreciate and perform traditional dances thus promoting and preserving the country’s cultural heritage.

Ihosana dance was this year’s common dance and the adjudicators revealed that in coming up with the winners, they were looking at areas including stage entry, stage formation, stage regalia as well as work presentation among others.

Ihosana is a dance that is performed in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. It is a rainmaking dance. The dance is also used during spiritual ceremonies amongst the Ndebele people.

The event is organised annually by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe with the support of Delta Corporation.

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