THIS year’s edition of the Jikinya dance festival national finals will be held in Bulawayo with organisers saying preparations for the annual competition for primary school children are at an advanced stage.
Last year the national finals were held in Masvingo and St Joseph Primary School from Goromonzi scooped the first prize. The Jikinya dance festival is organised by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ).
This year the festival dance is Muchongoyo also known as Muchongolo which originated from Zululand (Nguniland) in South Africa.
NACZ acting Communications and Marketing Manager, Cathrine Mthombeni said Jikinya festivals are already being held at district level countrywide.
“District Jikinya festivals are already being held countrywide in preparation for the provincial festivals that will start this month. The provincial winners will compete in the national finals on 24 November in Bulawayo,” said Mthombeni.
She said schools hold cluster and zonal festivals in order to come up with winners that compete at district level.
“Each district will then send one school to the provincial festival and winners at provincial level then compete at the national finals,” said Mthombeni.
She said Jikinya festivals are meant to promote the people’s traditions and cultures.
“The pupils that participate in these festivals will have an appreciation of our local traditional dances performed in different parts of the country,” said Mthombeni.
This year’s festival dance was performed in preparation for and after war, particularly when the warriors emerged victorious.
Today the dance is used to entertain people at public gatherings.
Muchongoyo is predominantly performed by Ndau and Shangani speaking people mostly living in Chipinge and Chimanimani in Manicaland, some parts of Chiredzi as well as some parts of Mozambique.