GURUVE Marimba Dance group from Mashonaland Central province proved their prowess in Dinhe dance to beat the country’s nine other provincial champions to emerge winners of this year’s annual Chibuku Neshamwari traditional dance competition held at Manicaland Showgrounds in Mutare on Saturday.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The dance competition 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.
For their efforts, the 15-member group who showcased the Dinhe dance, a spiritual animistic dance that is performed to arouse and initiate ancestral communication and dialogue walked away $7 000 richer plus a trip to China for a dance exhibition, while Makare-Kare traditional dance group from Mashonaland East and Bolamba Arts from Matabeleland South pocketed $5 000 and $3 000 for occupying second and third positions, respectively.
This year’s edition of the competition’s finals was dominated by Dinhe and Jerusarema dances, which were showcased by almost half of the groups.
The group’s manager, Zacharia Five, said they were happy to have emerged victors in a tightly contested competition, promising to showcase one of the country’s indigenous dances on a global stage in China.
“I am happy with my group’s efforts, it was not that easy to be the ultimate winners as there was stiff competition. We always worked hard and it is through that determination that saw us winning today [Saturday],” he said.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association (ZNTDA)’s vice-president Edison Museka said they are confident that the wining group was going to raise the country’s flag high performing the indigenous dance in China as Guruve had a well-documented arts history having, produced various performing artists.
“We are happy that the Guruve Marimba Dance group should go out there as our ambassadors and showcase what Zimbabwe is like in China. With this indigenous dance, which has also been used by Stephen Chifunyise in teaching at different schools across the country, we are promoting indigenous knowledge systems so we are saying, ‘go and make sure you showcase our culture, and carry the real message not to exaggerate,’” Five said.
He said as the ZNTDA, they were also interested in other dances, hence incorporating the dances like the Nyau, Gure and Beni Arinoti dance in Zimbabwe as a way of not segregating other dances in the country.
“The competition is no longer Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival, but it’s now Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Festival as we have married the contemporary dances, the modern dances so that the young people and the youths who are interested in fast and entertaining methods of contemporary dances can be participants in this festival.”
As a way of celebrating Chibuku’s 55th anniversary, the competition partnered with DreamStar Zimbabwe Talent Show to introduce contemporary dance styles.
For this category, ballet dancers Peter Lenso and Ndineyi Alfazima emerged tops and pocketed $3 000 plus a trip to China, while The Chosen got $2 000 for coming second and Forgotten Tribe received $1 000 for occupying third position.
Meanwhile, dancehall sensation Winky D proved why he is regarded as one of the country’s top performers with an energetic performance as he spiced up the event as a guest artiste. The annual dance competition has unearthed a number of talented groups, who have since made names for themselves on the local showbiz.