Championing Arts Development
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This is a dance festival for primary school pupils. The festival aims at safeguarding traditional dances especially among the young Zimbabweans at primary school level. The festival is open to all primary schools in the country.


Zimbabwe is a country endowed with a rich and diverse cultural heritage. This heritage is embodied in both tangible and intangible forms such as dance, and many other forms. Dances are not merely performed for entertainment but at all functions and ceremonies around the entire life of a people. Because of urbanization, globalisation and acculturation this heritage is in danger of disappearing due to lack of appreciation, promotion and recognition. There is need to preserve, revitalize and promote dance forms in Zimbabwe.

It is therefore against this background that National Arts Council of Zimbabwe saw the need to preserve and promote traditional dance forms through the education system by organising programmes and activities that involve appreciation, participating and consumption by children/students, hence introducing Jikinya Dance Festival.

Jikinya Dance Festival showcases various traditional dances by primary school pupils from around the country. The festival is held annually and aims at encouraging children to appreciate and perform Zimbabwean traditional dances thus promoting and preserving Zimbabwe’s rich cultural intangible heritage which is faced with disappearance.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) inaugurated Jikinya Dance Festival in 2002 and the festival is mainly sponsored by Delta Corporation and Culture Fund Trust. The major partner is National Association of Primary School Heads (NAPH).



The running theme for the festival is “Building Zimbabwe through Dance”. However, an annual theme is picked and is in line with the running theme. These yearly festival themes are aimed at focusing attention and promoting specific dance types.

Jikinya is held at three basic levels in the schools. These are; District, Provincial and National. However, in the district festivals, schools are free to hold zone or other festivals inorder for them to come up with district winners. Each district will be able to send one school to the provincial festival and each province will send one school to the national finals. All other festivals that take place prior to the provincial festivals are organised by the National Association of Primary Heads with help from organizations interested in the programme.
  • The schools are guided by the following rules in the Jikinya Dance Festival:
  • • The dances should reflect some authentic traditional aspects of a particular ethnic, religious or cultural group in Zimbabwe
  • • Any drama or theatrical performance will not be taken as a dance for the purposes of participating in the festival by schools
  • • The number of pupils shall be limited to a maximum of thirteen(13) for each participating school
  • • Dance teachers and coaches are not permitted on the stage when children are performing
  • • A dance performance shall not exceed ten minutes
  • • All schools participating at the national festival shall get a certificate
  • • The top three schools will receive prize money and a trophy
  • • All primary schools in Zimbabwe registered with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
  • • Only primary school pupils are allowed to participate in this festival
2018 National Jikinya Dance Festival was held at Wellton Primary School in Beitbridge on the 22 nd November 2018 and all provinces were represented by champions, that were the best schools in the respective provinces.The Guest of Honour at this year’s Jikinya Dance Festival celebrations was the Permanent Secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.


The theme was “Enriching The National Educational Thrust Through Dance” premised on the need to ride on the new curriculum that fully embraces arts education, the theme strives to bring out the importance of dance as a key component of the new learning trajectory. It further seeks to remind Zimbabweans that dance is part of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage that fosters the country’s identity. With the education system now embracing dance as a learning area, Jikinya Dance Festival easily provides information for the educators in this genre of the arts. The Festival is therefore a source of enrichment for the dance genre as a learning area.

The participating schools were;

Province School Dance
Bulawayo Matshayisakova Primary School Wosana
Harare ZRP Support Primary School Chinyambera
Manicaland Zamba Primary School Mbakumba
Mashonaland Central Chipindura Primary School Mbende
Mashonaland East St Joseph Primary School Chinyambera
Mashonaland West Mhanyame Primary School Mhande
Masvingo Gaba Primary School Mbakumba
Matebeleland North Lwendulu Primary School Isitshikitsha
Matabeleland South Huwana Primary School Amantshomane
Midlands Chiedza Primary School Mbakumba


Schools showcased sterling performances that were a clear indication that schools are investing in promoting Zimbabwean dances as well as working towards ensuring that varied cultures are appreciated and safeguarded.
The results were as follows;

Position 1- Chipindura Primary School(Mashonaland Central), Floating Trophy, monetary prize and Medals for each of the participating children and their teachers.
Position 2- St Joseph Primary School (Mashonaland East), Floating Trophy, monetary prize and Medals for each of the participating children and their teachers.
Position 3- Mhanyame Primary School (Mashonaland West) Floating Trophy, monetary prize and Medals for each of the participating children and their teachers.
Positiuon 4 -ZRP Support Primary School (Harare) Floating Trophy, monetary prize and Medals for each of the participating children and their teachers.

Chipindura Primary School from Mashonaland Central also won the Prof Hope Sadza Trophy for Outstanding Common Dance.

The common dance is Muchongoyo dance. Muchongoyo dance also known as Muchongolo originated from Zululand (Nguniland) in South Africa during King Tshaka’s reign. Traditionally, the dance was performed in preparation for and after war, particularly when the warriors emerged victorious. Today the dance has become a social and recreational one devoid of any religious connotations. Instead, Muchongoyo is now used to highlight societal events. Muchongoyo is predominantly performed by Ndau and Shangani speaking people mostly living in Chipinge and Chimanimani in Manicaland, some parts of Chiredzi in Zimbabwe as well as in parts of Mozambique..
Jikinya Dance Festival is proudly sponsored by Delta Corporation.
Attendance to the all Jikinya events including the National Jikinya Dance Festival event is free.