Ngoma gala lights up Bagamoyo


TRaDiTionaL dance and music (ngoma), dominated the main theatre, in the ongoing Bagamoyo Festival of arts and Culture, on Sunday.

This was a deliberate move by the festival’s organisers, the Bagamoyo institute of arts and Culture (TaSUBa), according to their Chief executive officer, Dr Herbert Makoye, yesterday.

The Ceo told the ‘Daily news’ this made it possible for any interested parties to see how indigenous music and dance have developed “positively” over the years. it also provided an opportunity for some of the numerous performing groups in the country of traditional dance, acrobatics and juggling, to display their artistic skills.

“We wanted to show our traditional heritage for people to see how rich we are. as was the case on Saturday evening, when the festival was officially opened. We had ngoma on the programme every day throughout this eight-day festival but we decided to devote Sunday’s complete programme to this section of the Performing arts.

On Sunday’s programme were veteran troupes, as the JKT arts Group and Magereza arts from Dar es Salaam, together with relatively newcomers, like Sisimajitu and Mjaka Mwambi, who are based right there in Bagamoyo.

There was also the veterans Mbamila from Kyela in Mbeya Region, with their energetic dancing. JKT arts Group came from Dar es Salaam on the day to present their repertoire, then return, after the night’s performances had finished.

Their teacher, amiri Mkufya, told the ‘Daily news’ such a move with 32 artists, was “very beneficial for more reasons than one”. not only because they got the chance to display their art, he says, they also got the opportunity to learn from what other people are doing.

They had presented two different pieces on Sunday. one from Zanzibar called “Msewe” and another from Mtwara called “ngokwa”. The second of these two pieces he says was specially chosen because of its suitability to being performed at a variety of celebrations.

They saw this festival as a celebration, therefore, thought it would be well suited. When approached after their performance, the founder and teacher of Sisimajitu, omari Zere, told the ‘Daily news’ the six artists, from six to nine years of age, were part of a larger group, which he teaches.

They had come with their acrobatics, which included twisting and bending their bodies into unimaginable positions. Seeing them perform on the TaSUBa stage had extra meaning for Zere, who was a former student there at the college.

He believes by teaching children the art of acrobatics and juggling, is one way of keeping them occupied so that they cannot get into mischief.

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