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Arts Industry Feels Covid-19 Heat

Members of Frankton Light School of Arts Dance Group

By Joyce Mukucha

The Covid-19 pandemic which has seen cases and deaths surging every day making Zimbabwe a hotspot of the virus has hugely affected a local traditional dance group called Frankton Light School of Arts (FLISA) which was supposed to perform in Spain Arts Festival as Zimbabwean representatives.

In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network in Harare Wednesday, the founder and director of FLISA, Frankton Murinyu said he was unsure if the group which was supposed to go and showcase the talent representing the country at the World Dance Theatre Festival in Spain Barcelona this April will still proceed.

“Programmes of our events were affected a lot this year by Covid-19 but we thank God that everything happens for a reason. Also, we thank the government of Zimbabwe for making us survive in this lockdown. It has affected not only us but the entire nation but it is working for the good as well as to save the lives of many people.

“We were supposed to go to Spain this year in April to the World Dance Festival and I don’t know if we are still going to have that event. I’m not so sure. Honestly, it has affected a lot especially us FLISA for we were supposed to go there and represent the whole nation,” he said.

Though the group had received unwavering support from Government through the Ministry of Sports Arts and Recreation, Murinyu sadly explained that their dreams were deeply affected due to the pandemic.

“We received full support from Minister of Sports Youth, Arts and Recreation Honourable Kirsty Coventry. Children and the participants have been affected a lot, especially in this lockdown.

“We believe and hope that after 30 days we will somehow have the opportunity to meet but we will be respecting decisions by the government because we don’t work against our Government as we believe that everything is working for the good of the majority.”

FLISA is a Zimbabwean Traditional Dance Group and an Academy or Association for young people which was formed by Apostle Frankton Murinyu in Chitungwiza as a way of promoting children who do not have the opportunity to attend school due to financial challenges.

The children perform in music, dance as well as poetry using traditional instruments.

Murinyu said the group was also supposed to record their first music album this coming March.

In Zimbabwe, the traditional dances have their significance and meaning which is often preserved. This includes teaching social values, reciting history, encouraging people to work hard, praise, or criticize members of the community, and most importantly, helping communities connect with ancestors.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende