Safeguarding the Mbende Jerusarema Dance

  • Project budget:
    • US$ 67,003
  • Source:
    • Japan Funds-in-Trust
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/11/2006 - 01/03/2009

Benefitting country(ies): Zimbabwe


A popular dance style practised by the Zezuru Shona people living in eastern Zimbabwe, the Mbende Jerusarema is characterized by acrobatic and sensual movements by women and men, driven by a polyrhythmic drummer accompanied by men playing woodblock clappers and by women handclapping, yodelling and blowing whistles.

The safeguarding project aims at strengthening the transmission process by,

  • organizing workshops for master practitioners and training teachers,
  • providing opportunities for youth to learn the dance and be introduced to its history and meaning.
  • conducting research and audiovisual documentation of the traditional dance forms and repertoire of movements, accompanied by interviews of practitioners;
  • promoting dance among young people in and outside the Murewa and UMP communities, through soliciting the participation of youth dance groups at local schools in the Jukinya and the National Schools Festival for traditional dance.

The safeguarding activities will be decentralised and implemented by local organizations and the Mbende Jerusarema Safeguarding Committee composed of master practitioners, local dance associations, traditional authorities and education experts.

01/12/2006 - 01/03/2009 – Safeguarding traditional games of the Afar and the Somali people in the Horn of Africa01/04/2008 - 01/03/2009 – Safeguarding the Songs of the Moon, traditional Swahili music from Tanzania (Unguja and Pemba) and the Comoros