Jerusarema/Mbende Festival dates set

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PREPARATIONS for the annual Jerusarema/Mbende Festival to be held at Murewa Culture Centre have commenced ahead of the fiesta scheduled to begin on September 18.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

According to the organisers, about 13 primary schools from Murewa and other places in Mashonaland East Province will compete at the popular festival that will see the best performing groups walking way with prizes.

Popular drummer Douglas Vambe, former Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance competition winners Ngoma Dzepasi and Makarekare will be among the guest artistes.

Festival co-ordinator Cuthbert Maziwa said the festival would be held over two days.

“This year’s edition of the festival is a two-day event. The main event will however be on September 19 when dance competitions will be held,” he said.

Ngoma Dzapasi

“A number of traditional dance groups are expected to attend. The competitions will be done in two categories, that is, primary school pupils and a category for the elderly.”

Mbende/Jerusarema is a popular dance style practiced by the Zezuru Shona people living in the Murewa and Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe districts in eastern Zimbabwe.

The dance is characterised by sensual and acrobatic movements by women in unison with men, driven by a single poly-rhythmic drummer accompanied by men playing woodblock clappers and by women handclapping, yelling and blowing whistles.

The festival is sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation_ and supported by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

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