Winning School Goba Primary School from Masvingo
By Ronald Moyo
Goba Primary School of Masvingo Province are the 2017 Jikinya Dance Festival champions after beating representatives of nine other provinces in a colourful national final held at Bulawayo’s Amphitheatre Hall on Friday.
The ten primary schools that battled it out in competition were, Goba (Masvingo), Mabhukudwana (Bulawayo), ZRP Support (Harare), Gaza (Manicaland), Chipindura (Mashonaland Central), St Josephs (Mashonaland East), Manyame (Mashonaland West), Lwendulu, (Matabeleland North), Mbimba 1 (Matabeleland South), and Chiedza (Midlands). The competition was held under the theme ‘Building Zimbabwe through dance’.
However, the Masvingo province representatives hogged the limelight, putting up a splendid performance in both, Muchongoyo – the common dance, and their own choice dance Mbakumba to outclass other provinces.
They were awarded a total of 288 points, and for coming first they took home $1 500, three Mbiras, a floating trophy, and gold medals for the performers and coaches.
An ecstatic Masvingo Provincial Education Director Zedias Chitiga said he was very impressed by the performance which was “very representative of the province”.
“I am very impressed by their performance. I am proud of our team, they did very well. It was not easy being champions given the competitive nature of the competition. I think their performance was very representative of our province. I am sure the whole province is proud of them as I am,” said Chitiga.
Matabeleland South representatives Mbimba 1 primary school, whose choice dance was Amantshomane came second with 284 points, only four points behind winners, and for their effort they took all the way to Plumtree $ 1 300, three Mbiras, and medals for the performers and the coaches.
Chiedza of the Midlands province and Gaza from Manicaland came third and fourth, taking home $ 1000, and $750 respectively.
Chipindura, Lwendulu, came fifth and sixth respectively, while Mabhukudwana and ZRP Support were tied on the seventh position.
There we also individual awards, and Allexandra Jaure of St Josephs was nominated the best boy dancer, whilst Ashley Tinaro of Gaza Primary School emerged the best girl dancer, and for their outstanding dancing prowess, both Jaure and Tinaro grabbed $30 each.
The special prizes from Amugugu Heritage founder Phathisa Nyathi went to Mabhukudwana, and Chipindura, and they both went away $50 richer.
Professor Hope Sadza’s most outstanding common dance $500 award went to the overall winners of the competition, Goba primary school.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe acting communications and marketing manager Catherine Mthombeni said: “We are very grateful, and we would like to thank the schools for coming and giving us some very good performances. It was a success, every province was represented. We would also like to thank our sponsors for making this event a success,”.
The Jikinya Dance Festival is a dance festival for primary school pupils. The festival aims at preserving traditional dances especially among the young Zimbabweans at primary school level. The festival is open to all primary schools in the country.
Jikinya Dance Festival showcases various traditional dances by primary school pupils from around the country. The festival is held annually and aims at encouraging children to appreciate and perform Zimbabwean traditional dances thus promoting and preserving Zimbabwe’s rich cultural intangible heritage which is faced with disappearance.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) inaugurated Jikinya Dance Festival in 2002 and the major partner is National Association of Primary School Heads (NAPH).