All is set for the national schools Jikinya Dance Festival to be held at Masvingo Polytechnic on Monday.
The festival that is hosted annually by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) in partnership with the National Association of Primary Heads (Naph) is meant to promote traditional dances.
Schools participating at the finals are Bulawayo’s Mkhithika Thebe, Harare’s Glen View 5, Manicaland’s Arnoldin and Mashonaland Central’s Chipindura from Bindura. Mashonaland East will be represented by St Joseph’s from Goromonzi while Mashonaland West will be represented by Mhanyame from Chinhoyi.
Gumunyu from Bikita will represent Masvingo with Lwendulu from Hwange representing Matabeleland North. Umzingwane’s Sihlengeni will represent Matabeleland South with Kwekwe’s Chiedza representing the Midlands province.
NACZ said Delta Beverages Corporation has been supporting the festival for years and this year their chairman, Canaan Dube, will be the guest of honour.
“The theme for this year is: ‘African Royalty: Our Children, Our Heritage’ and it’s a clarion call to make dance a reminder that it is part of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage that fosters the country’s identity.
‘‘The festival is therefore a plaform where our children can showcase their dancing skills,” NACZ said in a statement.
The dancing competition has been running for the past 20 years supported by Delta Beverages.
NACZ said Jikinya competitions are held at three levels which are at schools, district, provincial and national.
“Schools hold cluster and zonal festivals in order for them to come up with district winners. Each district then sends one school to the provincial festival and each province has one school participating at the national finals.”
The dances performed by the schools reflect some authentic traditional aspects of a particular ethnic, religious or cultural groups in Zimbabwe.