MATJINGE Primary School from Plumtree is looking to turn its fortunes at this year’s Jikinya Dance Festival finals slated for Bulawayo at the month end should they win the provincial finals this Friday.
The Bulilima-based school which won the 2011 edition of the prestigious event amid stiff competition from nine contestants, is hopeful history will repeat itself and help it reclaim the championship in national finals billed for November 29 at the “culture city”.
The Bulilima school has become a force to reckon with in national scenes as well as at their home province of Matabeleland South.
The group’s strength arguably hinges on the dancer’s mastery in woso — a Kalanga dance otherwise known as amabhiza in Ndebele which seems to be giving the upcoming dance ensemble an edge over other participants who have in the past struggled to put up a standard performance in Kalanga dance.
Although this year’s main dance piece will be the jerusarema mbende dance with its roots in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe and Murehwa districts of Mashonaland East province, the Plumtree group said it is going to ride on its brilliance in the woso dance which the group hopes to use as an own choice piece.
The festival has over the last three years introduced a system whereby a common dance is selected as the main festival piece running for two years and judged alongside an own choice piece.
The chosen dance piece givesparticipating children an opportunity to appreciate diverse Zimbabwean regional cultures.
In an interview with Southern Eye Lifestyle yesterday, Matjinge Primary School dance director Luscious Ncube said: “We have been participating in this competition ever since it was introduced in schools. I know what is needed and I am hopeful that we are going to clinch the championship title.”
The group which comprises 13 dancers, recently missed a golden opportunity to perform at the Domboshaba Cultural Festival in Botswana which is an annual Kalanga ceremony aimed at celebrating Kalanga language and culture as well as unifying Kalanga people in Botswana with their Zimbabwean counterparts.