- I recently joined visitors and locals in the celebrations during this year’s popular festival that promotes the four tribes.
Every year in September a cultural festival is hosted in the small-town of Haydom, in Mbulu district Manyara region. This has been a tradition of this town since 2011.
I recently joined visitors and locals in the celebrations during this year’s popular festival that promotes the four tribes.
Hundreds of people from communities in neighbouring Singida, Dodoma and Arusha regions and from all over the globe unite to celebrate the largest festival on the four popular tribes living side by side in the backyard of Haydom.
The festival which was in its 6th edition this year has not only become popular in the interior areas but also across the country, particularly in Dodoma, Tabora and Mwanza regions.
The cultural gathering has made some key changes to improve the overall festival experience. Camel riders swarmed a large part of the main area this year. This time around the organisers included spaces in which to chill out at the new food court.
And last but not least there were quicker exit and entry routes for traffic to make sure there was less congestion and everyone can easily make their way over to see their favourite area or at the main stage where traditional dances were daily hosted.
The greatest musical talents from a variety of different genres, including Wagogo from Dodoma, a snake dance troop from Nzega in Tabora and a traditional dance group from Mwanza all have set their calendar to attend and fully engage in the festival.
The tribal competitions were two Datooga traditional dance groups from Mulbadaw in Hanang district and Getanyamba, Mbulu district. Other traditional dance groups were two Iraqw groups from Qhaloda and Mbulu, while the Hadzabe from Kipamba.. The Bantu family had groups from Mazangiri, Nyeri and Iguguno in Singida region.
Invited groups were Maisha Sanaa group from Mwanza, a Traditional group from Compassion centre in Arusha, Nzega Sanaa group, Sa ngarasasu, the Wagogo from Dodoma, Makumira Cultural Arts Centre who have always been the mentors on the festival competition by coaching the groups and help in sounding and other winning tricks.
The three days event organized by Four Corners Cultural Programe (4CCP) based in Haydom, among others focused on enlightening and making the communities’ take part in entrepreneurship.
More than 50 IR-VICOBA groups brought the best of Cultural items and handicraft including traditional products such as honey, cereal crops traditional clothes, baobab powder, bow and arrow and so on.
They were initially being exposed to market their own wares and form partnership and alliance with other stakeholders to increase their marketing opportunities.
4CCP as a community empowerment project has been using the festival as a platform to link the communities they work with to connect with the outside world and other stakeholders.
The range of activities is from water, sanitation, and Hygiene promotion, economic empowerment through IR-VICOBA (Inter-Religious Village Community Bank) programs.
Other areas included accountability and good governance, gender justice as well as youth empowerment, as key issues for the communities’ empowerment.
In addition, health sessions were conducted daily by Ms Juliana Busasi from the Tanzania Health and Medical Education Foundation (TAHMAF) based in Dar es Salaam mainly on health risks to women.
Juliana who is a first-year doctor student from Hubert Kariuki University talked to girls and women about breast cancer.
Moreover, there was voluntary blood donation who donated 50 units as well as HIV?AIDS screening and testing.
Ms Eliminata Awet, the coordinator of the 4CCP emphasized the message that the festival has been all along focusing on giving a platform to the Nilotic, Bantu, Cushtic and Khoisans. “ It is time to build a relationship and embrace family values.
The opening of the festival was graced the Mkalama District Commissioner Jackson Masaka who represented the Mbulu DC. The festival run from September 20 to 23, 2017. The coordination of the event was made possible by a few sponsors such as Ethiopian Airlines who are a consistent supporter of Tanzania tourism.
Other sponsors, according to Nelson Faustin, include the Norwegian Church Aid, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Tanzania Tourism Board - Cultural Tourism Programe Unit, Trust Engineering, Haydom Lutheran Hospital, Tazama Auto spare, NMB and CRDB banks.