AN all-female traditional marimba ensemble, Tariro Trust, staged a splendid show at the second edition of Me–Fest culture Expo last week Friday at Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare.
BY BRIAN PENNY
The group displayed well-choreographed classy dances during its debut show at the expo.
The group’s artistic director, Daniel Inasiyo, said the invitation to perform at the festival was a shot in the arm as they benefited a lot.
“When we received the invitation to showcase our talents, we accepted it with both hands and after performances I noticed that the crowd really appreciated our efforts,” Inasiyo said.
The Glen Norah-based outfit performed traditional dances including mbakumba, chinyambera, dinhe and jerusalem, fusing traditional drums and marimba.
Formed in 2009 by Jennifer Kyker, an American and a graduate in music and dance, Tariro have groomed over 60 girl-child dancers who are also beneficiaries of Kyker school fees scheme.
It is made up of girls aged 17 and below who dance and play instruments.
“I was a dancer at Mhemberero group from Hatfield, when I meet Jennifer (Kyker), who further drafted me into her structures after forming her group,” Inasiyo said.
“We believe in our culture, hence, the need to conserve it. Our rehearsals do not affect the school time tables as we usually rehearse on Saturdays.”
The dances, he said, were in line with the new curriculum system and parents would grace it up for the better of their children.
“Gone are the days when parents would say playing traditional dance is likened to mudzimu/mashawe,” he said, adding that parents should support their children’s talents as they could be a source of income in future.
In 2012 three of the girls toured Japan for three months in a cultural exchange programme initiated by Clive Malunga.
Tilda Muchabaiwa, who was part of the tour, said she appreciated her Japan experience.
“I noticed that in Japan people liked the way we do our things as artists. It was an experience conducting some series of shows to people who don’t know you, but liked the way you dance and how we do it as Zimbabweans,” she said.
The guest of honour, Opal Sibanda, from Justice for Children Trust, said children are a pillar of society hence the need to protect them through cultural preservation.
She praised the festival for bringing the communities together.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) offered free HIV and Aids testing for partners and individuals.
Other groups who participated at the festival were Revolution Crew, Simba Arts, Tsatsi Mbira, Villa 2 Nyau, Rufaro Girl Child and Mkungudza Nyau.