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Cultural festival begins

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The annual Murehwa Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe Cultural Festival (MUCUF) roars into life on Wednesday at Murehwa Culture Centre with the festival running until Saturday.

The community-driven Murehwa festival will run concurrently with the Mbende Jerusarema Festival which begins on Friday with drummer Douglas Vambe expected to lead the event.

People from the surrounding community started arriving at Murehwa Culture Centre on Tuesday, braving the intense heat.

Bussiness has come to a halt with scores of people streaming the venue where they expect to be thrilled from various artistic and cultural disciplines.

Today Chief Zviyo is going to officially open the festival through a pungwe that will be held at Murehwa Caves where the dandanda dance, which has always been performed at traditional ceremonies, will be accompanied by mbira tunes.

A beast will be killed and volumes of traditional seven-day-brew opaque beer will spice up the opening ceremony.

Cuthbert Maziwa, the manager of Murehwa Arts Centre and co-ordinator of Mbende Jerusalem Festival said the centre will be a hive of activity throughout the event.

Tomorrow will see a number of secondary schools competing in a theatre contest during the day while the evening has been reserved for a modelling showdown to be spearheaded by Almega Ethnic Fashions.

On Friday 20 schools are billed to battle for supremacy for the Mbende Jerusarema competitions with Murehwa and Uzumba providing ten groups each. On the same day Vambe, Club Shanga and other groups are expected to entertain festival goers.

A variety show will conclude the festival on Saturday.

“Saturday marks the end of the festival with a variety show extravaganza from early in the morning till late. There will be exhibitions of wild animals, crafts, stone sculpture, potterywares, and ethnic fabrics among other various artistic disciplines,” said Maziwa.

Mbende Jerusarema Festival was inaugurated in 2007 as a result of the proclamation of of the dance by Unesco as an intangible heritage of humanity.

Its specific objective is to safeguard the mbende jerusarema dance whilst MUCUF is directly organised by the community and accommodates other dances and genres.

The festivals augment each other and serve the same communities as they share the same venue and same clientele.

Murehwa Culture Centre is home to the mbende Jerusarema among other traditional arts genres.

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