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Denmark to spread Zim cultural values

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THE two-week-long cultural exchange programme between Denmark and Zimbabwe has ended on a high note with the Danish community pledging to be ambassadors of the Zimbabwean culture in their country.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO/ALOIS VINGA

The concert featured local children between 11 and 15 years from different Chipawo centres across the country including Harare Junior Theatre, Girl Power, SOS Waterfalls and B & U Svendborg Theatre group from Denmark.

B&U-Theater-group-from-Demark-performing-their-play-at-the-Zimbabwe-Music-College-on-Friday-evening-Pic-Shepherd-Tozvireva

At the concert, Denmark presented a play titled Everybody Has a Dream, What’s Your Dream? The play is about four children on a journey to find their dreams in the Danish landscape where they meet old Nordic creatures, some of them good and dangerous.

Chipawo children presented a play called Living Dream which looked at how at a tender age they have lived their dreams and still living.

The storyline was about how they have explored the world through arts and culture sharing memories of some of their experiences.

The local group had another special presentation of a play Who is Child by Chipawo Girl Power to mark the belated celebrations of the International Day of the Girl Child, which is commemorated on October 11.

The cultural programme saw the participants travelling to Bulawayo and the resort town of Victoria falls to visit areas of historical and heritage importance showcasing cultural presentations of the two countries through theatrical performances, music, dance and drama.

Speaking to NewsDay at the programme’s signing off ceremony held at the Zimbabwe College of Music on Friday, Royal Danish Embassy head of delegation in Harare, Signe Albjerg, said the Danish community will become Zimbabwe’s ambassadors.

“When the cultural exchange programme was organised, we thought this will be an opportunity to showcase the Danish culture, but after visiting Zimbabwe’s tourist sites and experiencing the dance and beauty of rhythm embedded in the country’s folklore songs, the Danish community will have a lot of work to share their experiences by becoming ambassadors of Zimbabwe’s culture,” he said.

Alberg praised the cultural exchange programme for creating a platform for mutual understanding and sustainable friendship between the two countries.

Addressing delegates at the occassion, Chipawo’s Children’s Council chairperson Takudzwa Magomo said the programme created a platform for mutual cultural exchange.

“It was exciting to host colleagues from Denmark. This was an opportunity for us all to learn from each other and share ideas, which will make our tomorrow. This programme has been characterised by so many activities and opened our eyes to a new approach to things,” he said.

He saluted veteran theatre writer Stephen Chifunyise and Chipawo director Chipo Basopo for their “remarkable leadership”.

Speaking to NewsDay on the side-lines of the concert, cultural and art guru Stephen Chifunyise applauded the partnership between the two nations for hosting such a cultural exchange programme.

“The plays we have watched today (Friday) showed that young people are able to present their identity and country’s culture through arts. It is important for people to use culture to know each other and this is another way how future leaders are moulded,” Chifunyise said.

Basopo said Chipawo values children and it works to ensure that through the arts, children are able to use arts and culture as a tool that allows them to promote free expression.

“The cultural exchange programme was to create a platform for children to raise awareness on areas of child labour, early child marriages and sexual reproductive health issues also speaking about the socio-economic, educational and cultural rights while exposing their talents to diverse audiences,” Basopo said.

Established in 1989, Chipawo works with children and young people in child development and has been involved in many international festivals and exchange programmes.

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