GOROMONZI-BASED Ngoma Dzepasi appear to be destined to ruffle feathers at this year’s edition of the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival.
The group made a sensational return to the competitions, winning the Mashonaland East provincial finals last weekend, having last competed in the competitions in 2010 when again they won the sole ticket to represent the province.
At the competitions held at Marekera Gazebo in Mutawatawa on Saturday, Ngoma Dzepasi shrugged off stiff competition from second-placed Zevezeve, and Acturus’ Beni Arinoti who came third.
Ngoma Dzepasi took home $500 for their efforts with the runners-up getting $300 and $200 respectively.
A number of VIPs were in attendance and these included the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director Elvas Mari, Chief Chinyerere and Chief Chinhanga, among others.
The dance fiesta brought life to the township as multitudes thronged the venue to enjoy the provincial dance giants battling it out for the ultimate prize.
The procession kicked off with all the participating groups doing a unity performance while marching around the township.
When the first group got on stage, it was clear the crowd were in for a treat with the mesmerising dances and attire.
The competition would prove to be difficult for the judges as most of the groups gave it their all and showcased their different cultural dance routines which included Jerusarema, Jiti and mbakumba, among others.
The traditional showcase was a feast for the eyes and ears as the combination of well-choreographed dances, captivating attires and music drove the crowd wild.
At the national final scheduled for August 16 in Harare, Ngoma Dzepasi look poised to cause an upset considering their steady rise to the fore.
The group was formed in 2006, but just three years down the line, they earned their first national award scooping the National Arts Merit Award for outstanding traditional dance group.
They were to win the provincial competitions the following year before committing to tours that have so far seen them perform twice in Mozambique.
“We failed to travel to China last year as we failed to secure funding for air fares, but we had been invited to perform at the Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival,” said Mambo Mukuwapasi, director for the group.
“We are now focussing on the national finals and we are confident we will make it.”
The group performs diverse Zimbabwean dances among them srewende, mbakumba, jerusarema, jiti, bandanga, muchongoyo, dinhe, mhande, mbira and marimba.
Another achievement is that they are the first group to record a full jerusarema song with all its facets on their album Makarare kare on the track Mahon’era.