Gokwe band eyes Hollywood

The Gokwe Marimba Band has won the right to represent the country at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Hollywood, United States next year, following their sterling performance during auditions held in Masvingo recently.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The band, which is made up of primary school pupils from St Agnes School, clinched the sole ticket to represent the country after outperforming 27 other groups from around the country.

The outfit, made up of Ignatius Chikotora, Givemore Mapfumo, Marshal Makwekwe, Emmerson Kanengoni, Panashe Chimaro, Farai Tichapondwa, Best Hurombo, Constance Mangwiro, Pauline Sibanda, Staice Mutero, Lostenziyasi Chapfura, Rutendo Magwaza, Belinda Deredza and Confidance Manhanda, is trained by music teacher, Gilbert Kanengoni.

Kanengoni is assisted by deputy head Jabulani Mlilwana and matron, Mary Mukondo.

Zimbabwe Championships for Performing Arts (Zicopa) co-founder and national director, Nyarayi Jessica Tandy, who is organising Team Zimbabwe, said she was happy that the quality they have will upset other competitors in the US.

“WCOPA is like the Olympics of performing arts and with the team we have, I am satisfied that we are going to upset our competitors,” she said.

“Gokwe Marimba Band participated at the Masvingo auditions and they came first in a host of entries that were selected. We are now going through preparations and fundraising to get the team to Hollywood.”

The world championships will be held from July 6 to 15 next year in Hollywood.

The band was formed in 2002 after the school purchased a set of marimba instruments and they have been performing at various events, which include the independence celebrations, Heroes Day celebrations and wedding events.

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