TOKWANE Primary School from Matabeleland South province on Saturday clinched the top prize at this year’s edition of the Jikinya Dance Festival.
The festival, which was held at 7Arts Theatre in Harare, brought a galore of traditional dances as schools from the country’s 10 provinces converged to exhibit their skills on the dance floor.
Tokwane stole the hearts of the adjudicators with a splendid show of the amabhiza dance managing to shrug off stiff competition from Mashonaland Central’s Chifamba Primary School who had to settle for second place despite an energetic performance.
Ndlovu Primary School from Matebeleland came third, while Bulawayo’s Mkhithika Tebe settled for fourth place.
The schoolchildren entertained a packed auditorium with well-choreographed sets that were nothing short of stunning.
It was a beautiful experience to see the enthusiasm with which they displayed their dances.
Professor Hope Sadza, who was guest of honour at the event, expressed the importance of taking pride in local culture. She went on to pledge the trophy for the next edition of the festival as a sign of her support for the initiative.
Meanwhile, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, which organises the festival, announced that the jerusarema/mbende dance would be the common dance for next year’s edition of the festival.
This comes after the dance was also chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation for their cultural heritage development programme.
The mbende/jerusarema dance will be taking over from the amabhiza dance which was the common dance this year.
Mbende/jerusarema is one of the most common traditional dances in the country and at the festival the audience had a chance to sample it being performed by Murehwa based award-winning Ngoma Dzepasi who came in as a guest group.