Tight contest at Mbende festival

Dombodzvuku Primary School walked away with $300 for clinching top position at the two-day Mbende-Jerusarema dance festival that was held in Murehwa over the weekend. St Paul’s Musami Primary came second in the tight contest and pocketed $200 while Chemapango Primary went away with $150 in the competition that brought excitement, thrills and competition in Mashonaland East.

Interestingly, all the 20 groups that participated in the festival had children whose average age was 10. The event was graced by Nigerian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Peter Iyamabo, Chief Mangwende, staff from National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and Culture Fund of Zimbabwe among others.

Chief Mangwende said the festival was a way of preserving culture. “It has to pass to coming generations and by hosting such festivals we are heading there,” he said. He hailed the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Culture Fund , the community of Murehwa and Uzumba for their efforts to keep their heritage.

NACZ director Elvas Mari urged the community to find ways of safeguarding culture. “Please note many cultural expressions of intangible heritage are under threat, endangered by globalisation and cultural homogenisation. Moreover, by lack of appreciation amongst ourselves, support and understanding. I urge you ladies and gentlemen to find ways of safeguarding those cultural aspects that are an embodiment of our cultural values and norms. As communities, continue to practice and teach next generations for posterity,” he said.

He thanked the community members for making the festival a success. “Allow me to thank the community members for making this festival a success, have you not committed yourselves in investing in this festival surely we could not be smiling and enjoying. Moreover, I would like to extend my gratitude to the partners for this year’s festival that include Culture Fund and Sida/Danida, UNESCO, Proton, Zvawatsunga Enterpises and Realtime Logistics among others for the great gesture,” he said.