GWERU – Wendulu Primary School from Matebeleland North Province (Hwange) walked away with
US$4000 worth of prizes after they winning the Jikinya Dance Festival held at the Winery Convention
Centre in Gweru last Friday.
Wendulu Primary performed the Amabhiza Dance moves, which saw them scoop the first prize in a
tightly contested dance festival, which was graced by Vice President Dr Costantino Guvheya
Chiwenga, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Kirsty Coventry and other top government officials.
Amabhiza originated from Matabeleland South province and was this festival’s theme dance.
The dance is called amabhiza because the dancer would be trying to emulate the movements of a
horse. The dancers were using horse tail hairs called itshoba which they were throwing about and
dancing in step with some members clapping and singing while some played the drums.
One of the youngest dancers, Prosper Nyoni, showcased great dance moves which resulted in
continuous applause, ululations and whistling from the crowd.
Wendulu Primary smiled all the way back to Hwange US$4 000 richer for winning the competition
with the US$2 000 prize money being doubled by the Vice President.
Prosper also received US$100 from the Vice President for being the best boy dancer.
In an interview, Wendulu Primary School traditional dance trainer Michael Kanyika was in cloud nine
for winning the national dance competition.
It was a tough competition but I thank God that we were able to come out on first position which
shows that the hard work and determination that we put as a team led us to a sweet victory,he
Kanyika said their biggest challenge before qualifying for the national final, was lack of resources for
''We did not have traditional dancing outfits for our training sessions and we also lacked drums and
other instruments that we use in training but I am glad that we won the competition despite all the
challenges,'' he said.
The Wendulu Primary TD trainer encouraged people to continue working hard to ensure that
Zimbabwean culture does not go into extinction, citing that more traditional dancing competitions
and festivals should be held in all parts of the country and fully funded by the government.
The second prize of US$1 500 went to Munyaradzi Primary School from Mashonaland West province
while Zamba Primary School from Manicaland Province came third and received US$1 000. The two
schools got an additional US$500 each from the Vice President.
The winners were also presented with medals and a trophy by the Vice President. Minister of State
for Provincial Affairs in the Midlands Province Senator Larry Mavima and other government officials
attended the festival.
Midlands province was represented by Chiedza Primary School from Kwekwe which found the going
The festival is the biggest dance programme for primary schools run by the National Arts Council of
Zimbabwe (NACZ), in partnership with the National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH).
The programme runs as a competition, with schools participating from all the country’s 10