Zimbabwe: Call to Preserve Traditional Music, Culture

13 November 2019

WHILE the entertainment sector has over the years witnessed the entry of various music genres and instruments, traditional dance has stood the test of time.

Traditional music and dance have seemingly been overtaken by contemporary musical brands, but they have managed to stay relevant as part of the Zimbabwean culture and tradition.

Dzikwa Trust Arts and Culture coordinator Alois Sagota described the country's cultural heritage as important.

"It is important that arts should be taken seriously especially for the development of people and more importantly our cultural values are an essential part of our heritage," he said.

He said people should try to preserve culture and encourage the youth to take pride in it.

"The main aim is to revive our culture and make young people understand their culture, it was through traditional dance that most modern styles were derived from," Sagota said.

Sagota said it was disheartening to note that the majority of youths in the country did not appreciate traditional dance, but preferred contemporary dances from foreign lands.

"Most youths in the country do not appreciate traditional dance, the people who easily absorb it are primary school children so for one to find ways to capture the youths they have to mix it with theatre or some interesting activities," Sagota said.

"But it is different with the whites in foreign land because they are overwhelmed by our culture and they are never tired of it," he said.

He said traditional dance had stood the test of time because it is what defines a community.

"Traditional dance is about origination, it is what defines a community because it is where we tap in our history.

"It is the mirror of any community and as such people are defined by their dances," said Sagota.

He said traditional dance was unlike pop culture which faded away like 'bubble-gum'.

"Traditional dance is unlike pop culture which comes and goes and is ever changing," Sagota said.

"People from each part of the world would always want to see the culture by the Ndebele, Shona, and Xhosa people.

"It is a reflection of who they are, because it does not have a sell by date."

He said in the country traditional dance was mostly appreciated by the adult audience that is why his group fuses it with the latest dances in order to appeal to all the audiences.

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