Dombodzvuku Primary School was at the weekend crowned 2012 winner of the jerusarema-mbende dance contest at a colourful event at the Murehwa Culture Centre.
The school last year won the same dance competition.
The group pocketed $300 as the winning prize after shrugging off stiff competition from nine other primary schools.
Rukoriro Primary School from Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, which came second, walked away with $200 and on third position was Nyamutumbu Primary School that walked away with $100.
It was clear from the onset that the group was destined for glory as their mbende dancing skills were performed with “finesse and etiquette”.
The crowd could not help but ululate as the young children gave a pulsating performance that also left the panel of judges with no option but to crown Dombodzvuku Primary school winners.
In an interview Brian Chiripanyanga, Dombodzvuku’s trainer, said the win was overwhelming.
“I was shocked when it was announced that we were the winners. The competition was really tough and I can’t believe that out of the nine schools we have come tops. Last year, we were winners and this year, we have done it again, which means we are doing great as far as mbende is concerned,” he said.
Jerusarema-mbende Festival co-ordinator Cuthbert Maziwa hailed the winners for their performance which saw them retaining the title.
“This year’s event was indeed competitive and despite Dombodzvuku Primary School winning the competition other contestants showed that this area is still conscious about our traditional dance.
However, I am overwhelmed by the winners’
performance and they deserved to win this competition again,” Maziwa said.
The festival was attended by scores of people from in and around Murehwa, officials from Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry, local chiefs and Unesco officials. Mbende-jerusarema dance was proclaimed a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage.
It is performed by communities in Murehwa and Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe in the north-eastern districts of Zimbabwe.
The ancient fertility dance was called dembe/mbende, a Shona word for “mole” which signified fertility. The dance became very popular with the locals. Douglas Vambe, Rarira Dendera and Ngoma Dzepasi performed at the event.