The 37th independence anniversary celebrations started early for the young ones with the President and First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe hosting a children’s party for the at the City Sports Centre in Harare today.
The children who take part in this traditional children’s party annually are drawn from all the country’s 10 provinces.
Child parliamentarians are also invited to the annual event which is aimed at giving the children a chance to meet the Head of State and celebrate with him the important day in the life of Zimbabweans.
The event is characterised by song, dance, poetry and food for the young ones making it a befitting event for the children.
Some 43 children from 0 grade to grade 3 from the Grace Mugabe Children’s home and their resident Pastor Mrs Chigiga were also part of the crowd that participated in the 37th independence children’s party this year, giving an opportunity to mix and mingle with other children from other parts of the country.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora and his deputy Cde Paul Mavhima, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Cde Mirriam Chikukwa, Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President Tabeth Malinga and Chief Secretary in the Office of the President Dr Misheck Sibanda and his deputy Retired Colonel Christian Katsande were also in attendance.
The mood in the City Sports Stadium suddenly became electric and ecstatic when the President and First Lady led the entourage into the venue to the accompaniment of cheering, whistling and screaming when the children saw the icon first approaching and as he went around the arena waving and greeting some.
The cheering and screaming salutations were only stopped by the beginning of the national anthem led by the police band before the national pledge was recited.
The venue was decorated with posters expressing the importance of protecting children’s rights and proper upbringing.
Every province was then given an opportunity to show off their talents in song, dance and poems praising what independent Zimbabwe and the liberators have bequeathed to them.
Harare Province opened the floor with a group of hearing and sight impaired and handicapped showing off what they can do best among them an artist painter with no hands who drew two paintings of the President and Dr Mugabe.
Midlands Province was next with song and dance remembering the late singer and liberator Simon Chimbetu.
Matabeleland North then stormed the stage with a Kalanga dance which is also popular in Botswana waving the popular cow tail which in many traditions resembles a fly whisk.
Masvingo Province brought in a mixed grill of traditional dances, rural domestic activities and gymnasts under the new school curriculum holding their AK47 rifles depicting the ex-combatants in action.
Mashonaland West clad in traditional dance attire ‘Mbikiza’ showed the harvest dance with winnowing baskets and drums.
Bulawayo Province clad in sports attire performed martial arts to the amusement of the watchers.
Mashonaland East with its signature Jerusalem dance and drum showed that their drum will never die as the kids performed to perfection.
‘Muchongoyo’ (traditional dance) dance was also ably displayed by children dressed in full traditional regalia, from Manicaland Province demonstrating that indeed the many years of colonial oppression did not separate the people with the ways of their predecessors!
Matabeleland South dressed in school uniforms showed off their knowledge of Zimbabwean languages uniting every corner of the country.
Mashonaland Central also competed for a place on the Jerusalem dance with those of Mashonaland East.
The party is confirmation of the vision you have for the country.
The kids have an opportunity to hear President’s wise counsel.
Dr Dokora said Cde Mugabe’s life is an inspiration to many in the profession and his dedication to education is unparalleled.
The education ministry has heeded the President’s call to transform the education structure and is in the process of transforming the sector and is also teaching agriculture in response to land reform programme, with agriculture also examinable.
The Education Minister is also working on ensuring connectivity at all schools and provider will soon be selected.
The 37th independence anniversary is being held under the theme ‘[email protected] 37 Embracing Ease of Doing Business for Socio-economic Development’.