Home » Arts & Culture » Zim’s Young Cultural Ambassadors

CULTURE has been the cornerstone of every society and it defines people’s way of life. But, only a handful of Zimbabweans can really tell the music, dances, food, dress or how their forefathers used to live.

In a rare phenomenon, a cultural group mainly comprising youths, is researching and exploring the Zimbabwean culture through music and dance.

Jonasi Traditional Dance Group is a cultural ensemble researching on Zimbabwe’s cultural dances and also exploring how our ancestors used to live.

An upcoming group based in Seke, Jonasi is slowly gaining recognition after being crowned district champions for four years in a row.

They have since performed on a nationwide sellout tour.

The group is made up of 16 members – seven boys and nine girls aged from four to 15 years. They are showcasing their talent at each and every opportunity they have. They recently performed at Shamwari Yemwanasikana launch, and Merit Awards in Seke which caused a stir.

One of the group members, William Lanti, said he was glad that he found an activity where he can showcase his dancing skills.

“I am grateful to Jivas Makusha who recruited me into the group and I have always admired other people but now I know we will go far if all of us work hard,” said William.

“Most of us come from a disaantaged background so my dance group is a chance for me for good exposure and hopefully we start earning from it so that we can help our parents with school fees,” said Rachel

“Our group is mainly about dance but we also sing folk songs and this is because we are gunning for cultural enrichment for everybody. We don’t want the people to forget where they come from,” said Cotlida Muringani

“In the meantime, we are being trained in 14 Zimbabwean traditional dances.

“Hosana, amantshomane, amabhiza, amajukwa, isitshikitsha, mhande, shangara, dine, mbakumba, chinyambere, mutshongoyo, chokoto and jerusarema are some of the dances we are being trained in,” said Brandon Takundawa

However, one of the biggest challenges the group is facing is sponsorship to enable them to research more about the country’s culture.

“We really need support from the business community so that we can explore more on the country’s culture. From where we are now, we still have to move another mile and add input in the country’s culture because failure to do that will see our culture being eroded,” said Mafunayi Malunga

The group was founded in 2010 with the aim of encouraging students to pursue their practical education. Some have left the group as they became adults, but the directors were planning to grow the group to accommodate even the grown- ups.

Source : The Herald