Wagogo Music Festival begins today

23Jul 2016
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Wagogo Music Festival begins today

THE 8th Wagogo Music Festival begins today in Chamwino Ikulu village, Dodoma, drawing together 765 Gogo artists from 12 villages that will showcase 26 performances.

The region will celebrate performing arts of the Wagogo community-based Uvina, a term that collects the musical genres of the Wagogo, including Ng’oma ya Muheme, Nindo, Saigwa, Cipande, Msuhyunho, Nhongolo, Caya, Mazeze, Malimba and Kwaya.

Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Anastazia Wambura, will officially open the two-day festival while Dodoma Regional Commissioner, Jordan Rugimbana, will close the celebrations tomorrow in the afternoon.

Festival director, Kedman Mapana, disclosed that over 5000 people are expected to attend this year's festival, including children and adults as well as being assured an international audience.

Twelve people from the United States and two people from the Philippines have confirmed to attend the event.

The performances, he said, are free and open to the public today from 10am-10pm and tomorrow from 2-6pm at Chamwino Village Hall premises.

“We are grateful to receive a $5000 grant from the Switzerland Embassy’s Cooperation Office in Dar es Salaam and $2500 from Chamwino Connect, USA, for this years' Wagogo Music Festival,” Mpana delared.

He stated that the festival aims at, among other things, encouraging the Wagogo’s performing arts traditions, promoting Wagogo artists and supporting the knowledge and skills necessary to perform Wagogo arts.

The festival, moreover, targets to increase the presence of Wagogo arts as modernization envelopes the community.

Both organizations have supported culture and the arts in Dodoma as well as the festival for many years.

In support of the aims of the festival, the grants finance workshops for festival volunteers, facilitate Chamwino Arts Centre's communication with performing groups in villages surrounding Chamwino Ikulu village and rehearsals involving festival participants as well as their attendance in the event.

“These activities encourage the development of leadership and potential employment skills in support of performing artists’ and instrument makers' participation in the festival,” he elaborated.

The grant also finances food, transportation and accommodation for artists.

Chamwino Ikulu is just north of Buigiri village, 30km east of Dodoma on the highway to Dar es Salaam, and its village hall is adjacent to the highway leading north from Buigiri.

The annual performance-based festivals were formed and are organized by the CAC director, Kedmon Mapana, and centre staff members Nasson Mazengo, Sospeter Mapana, Rehema Chibutu and Stanley Mpuza.