An ethnography on the uses of chinyambera traditional dance as a coping mechanism by marginalised communities in Gweru Zimbabwe : the case of Tavirima Traditional Dance Group.
This dissertation is an ethnographic expository of how Tavirima Traditional Dance Group uses chinyambera traditional dance as a copying mechanism for marginalised communities in Gweru, Zimbabwe. This study contextualises and analyses how Tavirima’s performances of chinyambera reflect the socio-political environment in Zimbabwe and how the music works to bring about social change. It gives further insight into and analysis of how traditional songs metaphorically speak out against the authoritarian government of Zimbabwe led by Robert Gabriel Mugabe, and how dance embodies dissent against the same. The dissertation provides transcriptions and contextual interpretations of chinyambera songs which Tavirima uses as agents for social change focusing on how the songs reflect, contest, resist and mediate in the prevailing socio-political crisis in Zimbabwe. The research also discusses how chinyambera’s roots, expressiveness and energies influence Tavirima to choose the dance over a myriad of other Zimbabwean traditional dances. The theoretical framework for this study is underlined by the African Popular Culture Theory, Alternative Cultural Theory and Positive Deviance Approach creating a vantage point through which the study is framed to analyse the ability of popular arts in bringing about social change and how subalterns take charge of their destiny by defying restrictive and oppressing systems through a metamorphosis of traditional music and dance.