MUFAKOSE-based group, Culture Warriors Ensemble, proved their prowess in dinhe dance to beat 13 other traditional dance groups and emerge overall winners of the Harare provisional finals of the annual Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival held at Warren Park Bar in Harare on Saturday.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
For their efforts, Culture Warriors Ensemble walked away $300 richer plus a ticket to represent Harare province at the national finals set for August 5 at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.
It was a joyous mood for the Mufakose community, who proved to be a powerhouse at this year’s competition, as they dominated the top positions, with another group, Dedza, from the same area coming second after they exhibited the Chewa Gure dance.
For coming second, Dedza pocketed $200, while third-placed Pasi Chigare, from Glen Norah, who showcased the muchongoyo dance, received $150.
Speaking to NewsDay on the side-lines of the event, Culture Warriors Ensemble founder, Peter Munjodzi Mhumhi, said perseverance was the secret behind the group’s victory at the competition.
“We always work hard as Culture Warriors Ensemble and it is determination that saw us winning today [Saturday]. We have been together since the formation of the group in 1998 as our policy is participatory play, as everyone has a role to play for the success of the group,” he said.
The confident Mhumi said he is confident they will conquer at the national finals.
“We are the gurus and I am confident that will win in Bulawayo. My artistes are physically fit and they have the experience, as they have been in the industry for a long time. They are going to share the prize money as a way of motivating them,” he said.
Mhumi said the group’s founding objective is to make it a school of arts, but bemoaned the prevailing economic hardships as they are still struggling to achieve the goal, but he, however, refused to throw-in the towel and vowed to soldier on until he fulfils his dream.
Meanwhile, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) offical, Oliver Chauke urged artists to take their work seriously and conduct themselves professionally.
“As National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, we want to see artists, who are professional and take arts as a business and make it a means of support to their livelihoods,” he said.
“The groups that participated today [Saturday] showcased who we are as Zimbabweans at this competition that aims to promote and preserve cultural heritage.”
There are a number of talented groups, who have made names for themselves on the local showbiz, courtesy of the dance competition that is sponsored by Delta Beverages through their Chibuku brand and co-ordinated by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in partnership with Zimbabwe Traditional Dance Association.