Jikinya Dance Festival to  showcase Mhande traditional dance The Jikinya Dance Festival is set to illuminate the primary school calendar

Arts Reporter

Organisers for the Jikinya Dance Festival scheduled for next month in Bindura have announced that this year’s edition will showcase mhande traditional dance.

The festival hosted by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and the National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH), supported by Delta Beverages Zimbabwe will see over 5 000 schools taking part. 

In a statement, NACZ Communication and Marketing manager Rodney Ruwende said the festival will start off with provincial level stages.

“The Jikinya Dance Festival is set to illuminate the primary school calendar, with provincial finals starting in the second week of October and national finals set for Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province, on October 26,” he said.

Ruwende said this year’s edition will run under the theme, “Building Zimbabwe through Dance.”.

“The annual festival, won by Lwendulu Primary School of Hwange in Matabeleland North Province in 2022, will this year showcase the Mhande Dance as the set piece for the competition, which is held under the running theme “Building Zimbabwe through Dance.” 

“Mhande is an indigenous Zimbabwean song-dance normally performed by the Karanga people, who reside mostly in the Midlands and Masvingo provinces. The dance is performed as part of the Mutoro and Kurova ceremonies. Its performance goes beyond a typical dance performed to a song, as it carries historical significance and a deeper meaning,” he said.

Ruwende said the performance of Mhande as a set piece for the Jikinya Dance Festival was a crucial element in safeguarding the cultural practices of indigenous Zimbabweans. “The dance is a vital aspect of the cultural heritage of the Karanga people, serving as an artistic expression of the values and beliefs of the different communities where it is practiced,” he said. 

“Mhande is a key link between the living and the ancestral spirits, performed particularly in ceremonies such as kurova guva and the mutoro, representing the settlement of ancestral spirits and rain-making rituals, respectively.”

Amabhiza was the set piece for the 2022 Jikinya Dance Festival, and schools from all the country’s provinces performed the dance, which originates and is performed in Matabeleland South Province.

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