BY TINASHE RANGANAI DZOTIZEI
Chikanga Circuit were in seventh heaven as they were crowned Zimbabwe Episcopal Area United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF) music champions after an exciting, spirit filled festival held at Waterfalls United Methodist Church on June 23, 2018.
After close to a decade without the musical fete, the youth national finale finally became reality for the youth organization with 14 of the best choirs in the country converging for a day of praise and worship through music, albeit with a prestigious honour of being champions up for the taking.
It was the Mutare District based circuit that struck the right chords at the grandest stage of them all, romping to victory in the main set piece song titled Glory to God to clinch the main crown.
Pre-festival favourites Seke South was a close second with Zimbabwe West Annual Conference (ZWAC) UMYF Music champions Bindura finishing third.
Seke South was not to be outdone in the own choice category as they took top spot with fellow district counterparts Chitungwiza coming second.
The festivals had a lot of interesting sub plots that made it one to remember for the archives.
Five of the 13 districts in the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area were represented at the musical finale with Mutare District boasting of four circuits with Chitungwiza Marondera, Harare West and Central Districts havig three circuits each. Bulawayo Midlands District had a sole representative.
Choirs representing ZWAC all performed their own choice songs in Ndebele as the church made history in having Ndebele hymnal songs showcased for the first time at Area level.
The concept was adopted in 2018 as part of an evangelism drive that targets Bulawayo Midlands District under ZWAC which is a predominantly Ndebele speaking society with ZWAC resolving that all its choirs in the conference do own choice hymnal renditions in 2018 in Ndebele.
It was a masterstroke as all choirs gave soothing presentations that captivated the audience.
Choirs representing Zimbabwe East Annual Conference (ZEAC) came drapped in regalia with the BEB acronym as ZEAC UMYF ensured all choirs perform in that uniform as part of fundraising efforts channeled towards the completion of the ZEAC Head Office construction in Mutare.
It was a great atmosphere as all choirs did put their all in their presentations with fellow youths cheering on their circuits.
A fairytale story worth mentioning involves Bindura Circuit which has surprised all and sundry with their sensational entry into the top division, making a really huge statement with the results telling a remarkable story.
In 2016, the choir was in Group B and upon promotion to Group A in 2017, they have gone on to successfully win the ZWAC UMYF music festivals in each of the last two editions.
Administrative Assistant to the Bishop Reverend Alan Masimba Gurupira urged youths to maintain the Wesleyan traditions and Methodism values as they sing their songs adding that youths must integrate into the main choirs to enhance worship services and ensure the musical legacy continues.
The same sentiments were echoed by ZEAC Conference lay leader Mr Simon Mafunda who suggested more songs in different languages need to be composed for the church to sing in the native languages Zimbabwe has.
ZWAC Youth and Young People Ministries Director Reverend Dudzai Mutsikwi encouraged youths to make use of their God given time as youths to do the best they can through music and in other youth related activities.
The festivals came in a month the church is showcasing its musical heritage with musical festivals occupying all the four weekends of June.
The Ruwadzano RweWadzimai (RRW) Area musicals will be held on June 30 at Mabelreign (Revelation) United Methodist Church with 23 choirs expected to participate after progressing from the conference musicals held in the first two weekends of June.
ZEA UMYF MUSIC FESTIVALS SET PIECE RESULTS
2) SEKE SOUTH
5) MABELREIGN SOUTH
7) CHIKANGA 3
8) GLEN VIEW
9) GLEN NORAH
10) SEKE NORTH
13) BULAWAYO CENTRAL
14) KING DAVID MUTARE
ZEA UMYF MUSIC FESTIVALS OWN CHOICE RESULTS
1) SEKE SOUTH
5) GLEN NORAH
6) SEKE NORTH
7) MABELREIGN SOUTH
9) CHIKANGA 3
11) GLEN VIEW
13) KING DAVID MUTARE
14) BULAWAYO CENTRAL