BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA IN INDIA
LOCAL dance troupe Simunye Arts Ensemble has proven popular with attendants at the ongoing Surajkund Mela International Fair in India after attracting scores to the Zimbabwe stand everytime they started performing.
Simunye hogged the limelight for the better part of the official opening day on Friday and Saturday, which saw them secure an early slot at the main stage by public demand yesterday, despite having been scheduled to perform on February 15.
The Victoria Falls-based dancers mesmerized many with the Mbende Jerusarema, Mchongoyo and gule wamkulu dance moves, coupled with imposing drum beats that kept the mood spirited.
In an interview with NewsDay on the sidelines of the 33rd edition of the fair, which will run until February 17 in Surajkund, Haryana State, Simunye group leader Misheck Muponda expressed happiness over the reception.
“We are really impressed by what we saw today (Friday) and now we are expecting to see more people as the festival goes along, because the people really appreciated what we were doing compared to other countries and cultures,” he said.
Muponda believes that the colourful event, which attracts over a million visitors from across the world, is also an opportunity to learn and network for future opportunities.
“Our culture really attracted so many people, but we are also interested in learning how other cultures do it so we can improve on what we have. And we look forward to exchange contacts with other people,” he said.
The 10-piece troupe are part of a 14-member Zimbabwe group on a tour organised by the Embassy of India in conjunction with the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministry and consists of a wire products artiste, Stewart Kauzinyu, two journalists and a government official.
Kauzinyu expressed happiness with the rate at which his works have become hits — attracting many buyers, particularly whenever Simunye was performing.
“I am expecting more people because these are early days of the fair so some people have not yet come, but I think this week more people will be coming in,” Kauzinyu said.
Meanwhile, a hive of activity characterised the first day of the craft showcase, with thousands of attendants from different parts of the world trading in craft as well showcasing varied cultures.