JIBILIKA Dance Trust founder-cum artistic director, Plot Mhako, stepped down as the trust’s projects and creative director to assume a new role as the trust commemorated its 10th anniversary last Tuesday.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Established on March 15, 2007, the trust focuses on helping young people to make positive life choices, especially with regard to the HIV and Aids epidemic, drug abuse and crime through dance.
Mhako has spearheaded a series of community outreaches, dance trainings and civic development projects in an effort to expose underprivileged urban youths to new opportunities and potential livelihoods through the use of their artistic talent.
He told NewsDay yesterday that he felt he has played his part and there is need for new energy and creative talent and was now paving way for the 2016 National Arts Merit Award-winning theatre practitioner and dancer, Nyaradzao Francisca Nhongonhema, to steer the ship.
“(I am) taking a lesser and new portfolio to allow a new creative artistic director to take charge and steer the organisation,” he said.
Mhako said they had settled for a woman as part of their drive to have women occupying spaces of influence where they can play key roles in leadership.
Mhako said Nhongonhema will be assisted by another dancer and choreographer, Blessing Fire aka Bboy Christyles.
He described Bboy Christyles as a dancer and choreographer “with an amazing story for someone born with a disability”.
Bboy Christyles has been part of Jibilika from the beginning as a member of the Inmates Crew that won the best Hip Hop category in 2007.
“That is the kind of inspiration and drive that brings in new possibilities to the future of Jibilika,” Mhako said.
Having started Jibilika at a tender age of 25, Mhako said he was happy to pass on the baton.
“I will be focusing more on developing and running with our social innovation ideas and playing an advisory role to the team,” he said, adding that he had faith in the new team.
“This is basically leadership renewal. Our programmes all run on youth culture and energy to engage, empower and develop young people.”
Mhako said he will be learning new things as Jibilika sets to expand into other African countries with their first step being Botswana, where they shall host the festival next year.