Taking VPA out of the classroom Kevin Chikumbirike (centre with maroon trousers) pose with some of the learners at Vaima Arts Trust

Valerie Mpundu

Youth Interactive Writer

Preparations for the fourth edition of the Get Together Marimba Festival are at advanced stage, the organisers have confirmed.

The festival to be hosted by Vaima Arts Trust will be held on June 13, in Greystone Park, Harare.

‘Vaima’ means to shine.

The Get Together Marimba Festival is a unique platform which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of marimba music aiming to create an inclusive space for students from different schools.

In an interview with the festival director, Kelvin Chikumbirike, he said that visual and performing arts  (VPA) thrive best outside the classroom than at theoretical level.

“Most people are exposed to the theoretical practice of VPA but, with practical demonstrations, one gets an in depth feel.

“We want to take it outside the classroom for students to showcase their talent while boosting their confidence. Preparations are at advanced stage, with some of the schools confirming their participation,” said Chikumbirike.

This year’s edition is open to all age groups, including Early Childhood Development (ECD) pupils, and there is no limit on the number of participants.

“The event is open to everyone. It is a get-together festival, not a competition. It is there for students to exchange notes, and share their experiences and knowledge on various instruments.”

“Children in ECD can also participate, even university students. Anything linked to visual and performing arts is accepted.”

Chikumbirike said that traditional musical instruments will be played on the day to gain an appreciation of the authentic African rhythms.

These include marimba, ngoma and hosho.

This year’s theme song is by the late Chiwoniso Maraire, ‘Nhema musasa,’ which Chikumbirike described as ideal considering its rich African sound.

“I have chosen ‘Nhemamusasa,’ as our theme song because it offers a  rich African narrative and thorough eloquent sound.”

“It is one of the few songs with a fusion of all traditional instruments carefully arranged and tuned to rhythmic perfection.

“You can actually pick every instrument in the song. I believe students get a chance to showcase how diverse they are and how they can incorporate all instruments into one beautiful lyrical and sound composition.”

Meanwhile, organisers of the event have promised to continue building up the momentum to explore African culture and heritage as this is set to become an annual event to promote traditional music and instruments.

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