Mashonaland East school wins Jikinya dance fest
ST Joseph Primary School from Goromonzi emerged winners of the Jikinya traditional dance festival at a national competition held in Masvingo last Friday.
For their efforts, the group, which performed the Chinyambera dance, were given a $1 200 prize, trophy and 15 medals for the 13 participants and their two teachers. The school also scooped the Prof Hope Sadza excellence award in Common dance and got another $300.
On second position was Bulawayo’s Mkhithika Thebe Primary School who won $1 000, a trophy and 15 medals as well. They performed the Amantshomane dance.
Rujeko Primary School from Mutare was the second runner up. They performed mbakumba and were awarded $700, a trophy and 15 medals.
Maringire Primary School from host province – Masvingo took fourth position and was given $500, a trophy and 15 medals. They performed the mhande dance.
The bottom five schools were all given consolation prizes of $150 and medals for participants.
Guest of honour at the event, Reverend Paul Bayethe Damasane thanked the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe for championing arts development through organising the festival.
“These youngsters are the future of tomorrow and for them to participate in Jikinya is an assurance that our culture and heritage is going into the future. Such school arts activities should continue beyond Jikinya Festival,” said Rev Damasane.
“Jikinya Dance Festival plays a crucial role in safeguarding Intagible Cultural Heritage. The importance of Intangible Cultural heritage is not the cultural aspect, but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from generation to generation.”
Rev Damasane urged parents to support children who want to take up arts related studies saying traditional dance was an important source of economic development.
“Communities benefit economically through making and selling costumes, props as well as by training youngsters the dancing techniques. We’ve artists who have found sustainable livelihoods through Dance. We see them at weddings, functions and parties where they dance for a fee.
“Some traditional dance groups are now renowned internationally and are raising our nation’s esteem through dance. I urge parents to desist from shunning traditional dance and encourage children to participate because that could be a source of your child’s livelihood tomorrow”.