By Quegas Mutale
The Catholic diocese of Hwange is at an advanced stage of preparing for its deanery music competitions slated for 15 July 2023 at All Souls Mission Binga as the dioceses continues in a synodal process.
The Catholic News Agency (2018) defines synodality as a concept which means collegiality, the way in which different parts of the Church come together as the mystical body of Christ.
For the first time, the diocese of Hwange will hold deanery music competitions this year.
The diocesan spiritual director of music, Fr. Simelinkosi Masango explained in an interview that “it is just last year that we have formed deaneries in the diocese. We used to have only two zones. We have been competing as missions and parishes all along.”
The priest remarked that people need to know each other to work together properly as a bigger family, a deanery. In this regard, he envisioned this year to “foster a strong bond, unity and good relations among the people who belong to the same deaneries.”
Fr. Masango said; “now we want the deaneries to know each other since parishes and missions already know each other.”
Mr. Richard Dulama, the Binga deanery music competitions chairperson advised during the interview that, “singing must be part of our culture, we should not do it only for competitions.”
Fr. Masango commented that the music competition preparations had started in all deaneries as observed from his visits in the diocese.
The priest advised that every deanery should have their own executive committee to prepare for the competitions.
“We have tasked the Binga deanery leadership to take care of the logistics required”, Fr. Masango said.
The music spiritual director shared that the diocesan committee to coordinate for Church music was yet to be established although the preparations were going well.
He expressed that as opposed to the common practice where each parish or mission competes against others, each deanery will make a single choir in the upcoming competition. This is a symbol of synodality in the Church, he said.
The 2023 synodal Tonga competition song was composed by Magadelen Munsaka of All Souls Mission, Binga and is titled ‘Twayima kunembo lyako’, translated to mean, “we stand before you.’
Mr. Dulama encouraged the missionary childhood, youths, legion of Mary, Young Adults and all other Catholic Association members to attend music rehearsals in their missions and be part of the competitions.
“We have a deanery whatsapp chat group where we update each other on the progress made by missions”, Mr. Dulama said. This shows efforts put in place to prepare for the competitions.
“Just before the competitions, choristers from all the missions in Binga deanery will gather at All Souls Mission for the final practice,” Mr. Dulama updated.
Fr. Masango expressed that the tradition in the diocese of Hwange is to alternate the venue for the music competition so that all deaneries take part in diocesan events.
“We use three main languages in liturgy for worship, that is Tonga, Nambya and Ndebele. Last year it was Nambya and we were in Hwange. This year we will be in Binga because the song is in Tonga. Next year we will be in Lupane with a Ndebele song,” said Fr. Masango.
Mr. Dulama said that the meeting held at Kariangwe Mission resolved that each mission must meet for music practice every week.