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Shona Spanish play at cultural festival

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The Spanish Embassy will on Saturday present a performance of a play titled Mutambo Wepanyika during the Mbende Jerusarema Festival at Murehwa Culture Centre.

Mutambo Wepanyika is the only Spanish play translated into Shona by a Spanish priest and first published in Zimbabwe in 1958.

The Mbende Jerusarema Festival was designed to celebrate the arts of Zimbabwe and in the process, preserve one of the rich national dances.

“Mutambo Wepanyika, was written by Pedro Calderón de la Barça, one of the most important playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age during the 17th and 18th centuries. Calderón is renowned as one of the most relevant playwrights in Spanish literature,” said Spanish Embassy cultural attaché Marina Garcia.

The play was co-directed by acclaimed Zimbabwean playwright and director Stephen Chifunyise and produced by Chipo Basopo, Clayton Ndlovu and Belinda Mufute.

“Mutambo Wepanyika is performed by a group of young and dynamic actors from Children’s Performing Arts Workshop’s New Horizon Theatre Company.

“The Embassy of Spain has had very successful and productive relations with the team since December last year, when the play was performed for first time at the Zimbabwe College of Music in Harare,” said Garcia.

She said after a successful debut, the embassy celebrated the commemoration of Africa Day and the Day of the African Child with performances in various schools in the medium and high-density suburbs of Harare such as Mufakose, Waterfalls, Glen Norah and Eastlea.

She said the shows were attended by hundreds of students and the play was well received.

It was also staged at the Masvingo Youth Festival in August.

The Mbende Jerusarema Festival, which started on Wednesday, will end on Saturday.

The major drawcard of the festival is the Mbende Jerusarema Dance Competition in which 20 primary schools from Murehwa and Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe compete for the grand prize.

The event is complemented by 10 mbende jerusarema professional groups who will showcase their dance skills.

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