An 18-member dance troupe led by musician, poet and journalist Nqobile Malinga recently represented Zimbabwe at the ongoing Shanghai Expo in China.
Zimbabwe was one of over 200 countries taking part at the Expo that started on May 1 and ends on October 31.
The troupe, made up of 10 men and eight women, performed in different towns and at the Shanghai International Trade Expo during the Zimbabwe Day commemorations.
Members of the national group were drawn from various dance groups in the country’s 10 provinces and included performers from Umkhathi Theatre Works, Kwabatsha Dance Company, Culture Warriors and Baptism of Fire Theatre Group, among others.
The group performed a play titled My Zimbabwe which Malinga co-wrote with University of Zimbabwe lecturer and writer Memory Chirere and renowned playwright Aaron Chiundura Moyo.
The play seeks to showcase Zimbabwe’s cultural wealth and diversity through music, song and dance.
Some of the dances included are isitshikitsha, mhande, amambhiza, mtshongoyo, inqguzu, Jerusarema, kongonya and mbira.
“The play celebrates and highlights social, economic and political developments that have taken place in Zimbabwe since independence up to date. We used it as a tool to market Zimbabwe’s resort areas such as Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park and others,” said Malinga.
The Zimbabwean group also had cultural interaction with Chinese groups. In Lanzhou the group performed with Gansu Provincial Ensemble of Song and Dance and the Peking Opera Troupe.
The artists had the opportunity to visit Gansu Museum, the Great Wall and other places where they were taught some Chinese history.— The Zimbo Jam