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Inaugural Amandlwane Theatre Festival launched In Midlands

The inaugural Amandlwane Theatre Festival for primary school drama competitions was recently held at Shurugwi’s Ironsides Community Hall where Gokwe’s St Agnes Primary School became the first school to be crowned champions in the event.

St Agnes came first after scoring 75 percent and walked away with ZW$2 000 in prize money while Charles Wraith Primary School came second at 56 percent receiving ZW$1 500 for their efforts while Budiriro Primary School were third at 52 percent and walked away with ZW$1 000 all sponsored by the Zimbabwe Diabetes Association.

Speaking after the event, one of the adjudicators Abdon Zacharia said the main focus was on stage management, stage presence, expression through actions and voice projection.

The drama competitions, dubbed Amandlwane Theatre Festival also had other sponsors that included  Mid-Dig in partnership with Phakama Culture and Creative Arts Organization (PCCAO) led by  Noreen Mutera.

Mutera, who will be part of the National Association of Primary School Heads (NAPH) Traditional Dance national finals adjudication team in Masvingo on the 25th of November (today), said this was Amandlwane’s first appearance at the Jikinya Festival and the kids were competing at Provincial level as the event is yet to go national.

“For now the sponsorship is at Provincial level with the aim to go national in the near future. It was a fair start though some districts could not make it for the competition due to financial challenges but as PCCAO, we are happy with the progress we have made so far in support of the new curriculum.

“The inaugural performances were excellent although we still have a lot to improve on theatre-wise and hoping next year all the Midlands Districts will participate. In general, it was indeed a great time we had and the event will be held annually going forward,” Mutera said.

Meanwhile, Kwekwe based Chiedza Primary School is set to represent Midlands in the annual Jikinya Dance Festival national finals set for Masvingo Polytechnic College today.

Chiedza Primary outclassed six other schools that converged at Shurugwi’s Ironsides Community Hall recently for the Traditional Dance Provincial finals. Gokwe North, however failed to make it to the Provincial finals.

Chiedza Primary School came first after scoring 76 percent followed by the host District, Shurugwi’s Selukwe Primary School who came second at  72 percent while Matenda Primary School from Zvishavane came third at 69 percent.

Speaking after the event, Bernard Mateyo, one of the Traditional Dance Adjudicators said he was impressed with the performances of the schools but challenged the winning team to polish up on their act ahead of  travelling to Masvingo and expressed  confidence that the school will bring home a medal.

“The competitions have advanced, now kids understand Traditional Dance because they are now involving professional coaches more but the problem now is that when a dance is introduced on the first year we find the best team for the day because the dance will be still new but for the best team that won today displayed the dances as they were supposed to be.

“We were also impressed by the Jeketera dance which came out as it was supposed to be, the original basic dance but they need to improve on their own choice dance, they need to be more creative on that,” Mateyo said.

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