The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Story Behind Drum Majorettes

When the mind is exposed to too much work, it grows weary and the sense of reasoning and judgment tends to be affected. The same happens when the mind and body are exposed to too much play, which tends to slow down the mind's capacity to grasp moments of technical information and thus the mind needs to work. It is due to such an understanding of the human mind and body that it was seen necessary to include sport as part of the curriculum in schools.

The inclusion is not only to nurture talent, but to ease the mind from the stresses of too much studying within the class.

Sports have become so popular world over becoming the centre of entertainment and source of livelihood to a lot of people.

Unfortunately, "drum majorettes" is one sport in Zimbabwe that has not been given serious attention even though it is admired by many.

To most, this is just an area dominated by girls in primary and high schools and done simply to add colour to national events and the so-called "real competitions" like soccer or rugby and nothing else.

Cool Lifestyle caught up with Queen Elizabeth's drum majorettes group and opened up on this area of sport.

"The history of the drum majorettes is very unclear. Drum majorettes is associated with the ceremonies that used to take place in Europe, particularly England, where young girls and women would get into royal colours and march in the street to the roll of drums, welcoming WW11 soldiers from the battlefields," said Mrs Varaidzo Mujeni the senior teacher.

"However, drum majorettes are not all about demonstrating perfection in marching or exhibiting mastery in twirling batons in the air in a military fashion.

"The spot has a bearing on the behaviours and attitudes of young girls as it cultivates morality and virtue. Most of the well behaved students at this school came from the drum majorettes group."

"As sport involves discipline and perfection, it is in this juncture that it shapes virtue in young girls, grooming them to become responsible adults," she said.

Paidamoyo Muyemeki (17) a Form Three pupil in the drum majorettes group said the sport has shaped her behaviour and gave her confidence.

"Ever since I joined the Drumies, It has boosted my level of confidence and manners which clearly shows that the sport helps a lot in shaping one's behaviour," said Paidamoyo.

Another squad member, Tinashe (17) also shared the same sentiments.

"We have gone places to showcase our talent as we get invited by many institutions and organisations at various functions to do our displays. I believe the more the sport is introduced in many schools the less the chances of mischief among students since drum majorettes groom young people to be well behaved in public." said Tinashe.

Mrs Satande challenged boys to also join drum majorettes.

"Although drum majorettes have been seen as a preserve for women and girls, it was time boys joined in because of the impact the sport has in behaviour molding sighting that in Mashonaland East at Kandava Primary school they were incorporating the idea," she said.

Record books of St Dominican School in Gauteng shows that drum majorettes first entered into the continent through South Africa.

A Drum Majorette squad comprises a squad leader with her sub leader, flag holders and the squad general who at competitions perform a routine march and free style.

A whole squad is expected to display skill in marching in blockbuster perfection to the throbbing of drums or sound of trumpets.

A good squadron leader should demonstrate a good mastery in handling the baton, which should not falter when twirled in air in military style.

A few secondary and primary schools around the country have taken drum majorettes as a sport and is highly regarded in high school girls in many universities and colleges.

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