The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Jibilika Dance Festival Reborn

The Jibilika Hip-hop Dance Festival is back after a three year absence due to lack of funding. The event is slated for December 1, in the Harare Gardens. This year, event which is running under the theme; "Step up to HIV", will see 34 groups across the country competing for honours. Three groups will walk away with US$500 each and five outstanding individuals will get US$100 for their exploits.

Jibilika Dance Trust coordinator Plot Mhako said they believed that dancing was a powerful weapon to get youths involved in the fight against HIV and Aids as they are more conversant with urban and popular culture.

Mhako believes that the event will be an edutainment forum for youths.

"We are expecting to attract over 2 000 youths and we want to convey the message of behaviour change.

"This is a way of fighting the HIV and Aids disease as youths rely more on popular culture. They always imitate what they see on television, Internet and radio," said Mhako.

He added: "The festival has grown from strength to strength as evidenced by overwhelming support from dancers across the country, the general public and the corporate world.

"The audience should brace up for thrilling performances all round."

Since inception, the festival has propelled a number of artists and dance groups to dizzy heights, securing them contracts with local and international promoters such as the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and Germany based Hot Afrika.

The project launched in 2007, became the country's biggest and first ever-eclectic dance competition.

It was born out of the need to promote, nurture talent and create employment for youths.

It celebrates the richness and diversity of dance across Zimbabwe and beyond.

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