Masvingo school wins Jikinya Dance Festival

HARARE – Gaba Primary School from Masvingo was the winner of the 2017 National Jikinya Dance Festival held at the Amphitheatre in Bulawayo recently.

The winning school was awarded a floating trophy and a monetary prize while all participating children and teachers from the school walked away with gold medals.

To cap a great day, the Masvingo school also took home the Professor Hope Sadza Trophy for Outstanding Common Dance.

Second place went to Mbimba 1 Primary School from Matabeleland South which got a floating trophy as well as monetary prize. All the participating children and teachers from Mbimba took home silver medals.

At the annual contest organised by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz), Chiedza Primary School from the Midlands took home a floating trophy as well as a monetary prize. Participating children and teachers from the school walked away with bronze medals.

The fourth best school was Gaza Primary School from Manicaland. For its efforts, the Chipinge-based school landed a floating trophy and prize money. Teachers and children from the school were also awarded with copper medals.

The annual festival seeks to encourage children to appreciate and perform Zimbabwean traditional dances thus promoting and safeguarding Zimbabwe’s cultural intangible heritage.

The festival showcased an assortment of traditional dances by primary school children from throughout Zimbabwe.

Guests who graced the festival included Nacz board member Moffat Ndlovu, Delta Corporation board member Todd Moyo, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief operations officer Givemore Chidzidzi, Zimbabwe College of Music director Rachel Chingwanda and Agribank regional manager Scholastica Madibha.

Also present were provincial education directors from Harare, Midlands, Masvingo and Bulawayo Metropolitan as well as two deputy provincial Education directors from Mashonaland West and Bulawayo.

Delegates from National Arts Council of Zambia who included Florence Sinkala and Mwiche Chikungu also graced the event as part of their cultural exchange tour.

To make the contest more exciting, 2017 Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Festival champions Ezimnyama Dance Ensemble performed as a guest group.

Ten schools participated at this year’s Jikinya Dance Festival having won the first prize in their respective provinces.

The schools performed dances of their own choice as well Muchongoyo, a dance that originated from Zululand (Nguniland) in South Africa during King Tshaka’s reign.

Traditionally, the dance was performed in preparation for and after war, particularly when the warriors emerged victorious.

Nowadays, the dance has become social and recreational devoid of any religious connotations. Some professional dance groups perform Muchongoyo fusing it with contemporary dance routines for commercial purposes.

Muchongoyo is predominantly performed by Ndau and Shangani speaking people mostly living in Chipinge, Chimanimani and some parts of Chiredzi in Zimbabwe as well as in some parts of Mozambique.

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