National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director, Elvis Mari, confirmed this at Large City Hall while addressing a large gathering that thronged the venue to watch the youngsters perform in the national final.
“I would like to thank the National Association of Primary Heads (Naph) for rising up to the challenge of such a mammoth task and organising the Jikinya Dance Festival competition at various centres throughout Zimbabwe,” said Mari.
He said 700 schools participated at various district competitions. The Jikinya Dance Festival showcases Zimbabwe’s diverse cultures. “Jikinya is a celebration of our diversities as Zimbabweans, expressed through dance.”
Mari said over the past 10 years of its existence, the festival had “unearthed outstanding traditional dances and catapulted them onto the world stage”.
He said the festival had promoted the country as one of the places in the world with a vibrant arts and culture sector.
“The dance festival has played a significant role by giving to the world the richness that defines Zimbabwe’s arts and culture,” he said. Meanwhile, NACZ board member, Thokozile Chitepo, who also addressed the audience, said her organisation aimed at strengthening public-private sector partnerships so that they may be more research on the different traditional dances the country has to offer.
“Currently there is only one traditional dance on the list of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity list which is the jerusalema/ mbende dance,” said Chitepo.
“It is the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe’s wish that amabhiza dance will also make it to the list soon. It is through arts and culture that unity, peace and a viable cultural tourism is built”.