Matshinge Primary School in Bulilima are this year’s first prize winners of the Jikinya Arts Festival in the Matabeleland South provincial competition held recently in Beitbridge.
They received $300 for their efforts and have booked a place in the final competition to be held in Harare at the end of the month.
The second prize went to Sabiwa Primary School, who got $200. The theme for the festival was “Celebrating Diversity, Culture and Identity”.
Delivering her speech at the event, Tumisang Thabela, the Director of Education for Matabeleland South, said it was important for children to take part in the arts.
“These children will be custodians of our culture. We have to nurture the talents of our children from an early age,” she said, adding that the festival showcased Kalanga, Sotho, Ndebele and Shona traditions.
The annual arts competition that comprises of choral music and traditional dance is for primary schools and was held in Beitbridge for the first time. The provincial festival has always been commemorated in Gwanda, the Matabeleland South capital.
“It was decided that the activities be held in Beitbridge this time. In fact, we will take the festival to other districts in Matabeleland South province (in future),” said Percy Vela, the programmes officer at the National Arts Council, the co-coordinators of the event.