Victory Siyanqoba has come up with a high schools’ arts competition called EITA which is an extension of their Eziko Theatre Laboratory project into schools.
EITA loosely translates to hello.
The competition which will have six categories namely music, poetry, dance, drama, public speaking and tradition modelling, will be held annually in September and it has a five-year plan of expansion aimed at accommodating schools from different regions of Matabeleland each year.
The first edition of the festival will be held at Nkulumane Hall on 21 September and it will accommodate high schools from Nkulumane and its surroundings. In 2023 it will expand to accommodate all schools from the Bulawayo province.
In 2024, EITA competition will move to Matabeleland South with Matabeleland North getting their turn in 2025. Finally, in 2026 the competition will combine all the regions and it will change the name to EITA Matabeleland high schools regional performing arts championships.
The initiative has been hailed and it’s supported by government ministries including the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Women Affairs and Community Development, as well as the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation at provincial level.
Desire “Moyoxide” Moyo said they came up with EITA so as to revive the extra educational curricular activities that were cut off by Covid-19 and its restrictions.
“Victory Siyanqoba has always been an innovative institution driven by the youthfulness within. In 2005 to 2007, we had such an initiative for rural high schools in Matabeleland held at Selonga High School.
“We are waking up the sleeping giant and saying now is the time. EITA is inspired by the natural events that closed down schools and crippled the lives of children and youths in schools.
“We now come to complement government efforts to bring back normalcy and shape the lives of the youths in schools with this competition.
“We are working with an array of talented souls from our region who have made a mark in the creative cultural industries who will be mentoring these children before the final competition.
“What also is of importance is that all our awards are named after celebrated and unsung artistes from our region as a way of honouring, appreciating and acknowledging their immense contribution to the development of the arts in the Matabeleland region,” said Moyoxide.