LOCAL dancer Kudzanai Chikowe (20) will fly Zimbabwe’s flag at the world’s biggest dance fiesta — DanceStar World Dance Masters — which began yesterday and will run until Sunday in Porec, Croatia.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Chikowe is among the 10 African finalists selected in 2016 under the Breaking Down Borders initiative run by former DanceStar winner and ambassador for Africa Paul Modjadji in partnership with the Jibilika Dance Festival which ran the local selection process.
The break dancer, who failed to participate during last year’s event after missing his flight on three different occasions, was given another chance to display his dancing skills at the global showcase.
Chikowe said he was humbled by the opportunity to represent his country at an international platform.
“This is a great opportunity that I have been accorded to represent the nation and the dancing community at this world’s biggest dance event. I thank Jibilika for the opportunity they are giving to dancers in the country and DanceStar for recognising and supporting Zimbabwean talent,” he said.
Chikowe will rub shoulders with about 7 000 participants from over 55 countries for competitions and seminars sponsored to a whopping €50 000.
The young dancer scooped the Best Boy title at Jibilika Dance Festival 2016 where Modjadji and his team, who were scouting for local talent, were impressed by his skills on the dancefloor.
Chikowe, who started dancing in 2009 in his Kuwadzana neighbourhood, said he would pursue dancing as a career.
Modjadji described Zimbabwe, which was the first stop for the DanceStar Africa talent search, as “a land of great talent.”
“I believe the judges could not have chosen a better talent to represent the best of Africa. To see a young dancer who understands the importance of fusing African elements to international dance disciplines is important in exposing African talent and heritage to the world,” he said.
Jibilika founder Plot Mhako said Chikowe’s break was an opportunity to open doors for local talent.
“With the representation of Zimbabwe at a huge competition like DanceStar, hopefully more doors shall be opened for other dancers. The world can no longer afford to ignore Zimbabwean talent as we open up for creative business too,” he said.
DanceStar offers young dancers international stage experience and an opportunity to compete with some of the world’s greatest dance stars.