The Tulia Trust, under its Tulia Traditional Dances Festival program, holds annual traditional dances festivals in different places in Tanzania. Under the auspices of the Tulia Traditional Dances Festival brand, we successfully held the first traditional dances festival on 7th and 8th October 2016 in Tukuyu Town, Rungwe District, in Mbeya Region.
The Festival attracted ten categories of traditional dances, thus, Ing’oma, Maghosi, Ipenenga, Kimwenge, Samba, Nkyesyo, Kibhota, Kapote, Ndingala and Kitumbwike. The ten dances are commonly practiced in three councils, namely, Rungwe District Council, Kyela District Council and Busokelo Council all of which participated in the Festival. Out of 62 participating groups, 27 groups emerged winners. Apart from the 1,100 participants, the Tulia Traditional Dances Festival attracted about 1,000 visitors from outside Mbeya Region including Members of Parliament, Ambassadors, Ministers/Deputy Ministers and other government officials. The Festival was graced by Hon. Nape Moses Nnauye, the then Minister for Information, Sports, Arts and Culture. The Festival attracted about 23,000 viewers in total. This being the first time for such an event to be organized, we consider it to have been a great success thereby nurturing our culture and traditions.
In line with the vision and mission of Tulia Trust, the Tulia Traditional Dances Festival aims at promoting the rich traditions and culture of more than 120 ethnic communities in Tanzania through dances. This is primarily done to exhort the preservation of traditions and culture for posterity. While the dance groups would be directly participating in preservation of the Tanzanian traditions and cultures, their participation in the Tulia Traditional Dances Festival would in turn increase their visibility and assist them to access more opportunities to perform including at district, regional and national levels. These opportunities would serve as seasonal employment thereby helping them to fight poverty not only for the group members but their entire families and the communities they belong to. As such, Tulia Traditional Dances Festival fights poverty in the communities through creation of employment to the traditional dances groups. Tulia Trust also assists traditional dances groups to access the opportunities like performing in different festivals and events.