Research Article

Operations to Restore Cultural Legacy: Past and Present Voices on the Revival of Mbende Dance in Zimbabwe


  • Solomon Gwerevende Choreomundus-International Master student in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage, University of Szeged, Hungary, University of Clermont Auvergne, France, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway and University Roehampton, United Kingdom
  • Fumisai Rwaendepi MA student in Creative and Performing Arts, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe


In Zimbabwean indigenous communities, dance is a form of heritage, identity, discourse, relationship and values. Due to colonisation and Christianity, various dances in Zimbabwe were banned by the British colonial government in the then Rhodesia. One of the indigenous dances that have undergone suppression by the resident missionaries is mbende dance of the Zezuru people in Mashonaland province, particularly in Murehwa and Uzumba-Maramba- Pfungwe districts. Mbende dance occupies the centre stage in the economic, political and socio-cultural system of the Zimbabweans in general and Zezuru people in particular. Despite the influence of Christianity and colonisation to submerge Zimbabwean dance traditions, mbende dance escaped the onslaught to this day, albeit with modifications in costumes, context, purpose and other features. Drawing upon historical sources, contextual analysis, documentary review, video evidence, interviewee reflections, personal and participatory adjudication experience on mbende dance activities and festivals, the present article explicate issues surrounding the suppression, revival and continuity of mbende dance.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

1 (5)





How to Cite

Gwerevende, S. ., & Rwaendepi, F. . (2019). Operations to Restore Cultural Legacy: Past and Present Voices on the Revival of Mbende Dance in Zimbabwe. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 1(5), 92–102. Retrieved from



Indigenous dance, mbende dance, cultural legacy/heritage, Zezuru people