BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
CHINA-BASED Zimbabwean dancer Abel “Teeballs” Mutengerapatare has urged aspiring artistes to never stop chasing their dreams despite criticism and a string of setbacks.
Teeballs flew to China in 2019 to join an arts and culture company Lingling International Circus that has different nationalities among them Chinese, Kenyans, Senegalese, Russians and Ukrainians.
The 25-year-old dancer told NewsDay Life & Style that although his parents were against his wish to be a professional dancer, he didn’t lose hope and focus.
“My parents didn’t want me to be a dancer. They said this was for people without direction. I was even chased from home three times. Sometimes my mum could hide my dancing uniforms hoping that I would give up, but that never happened,” he said.
“Don’t give up on your dream. If someone is facing the same challenge I also faced, he or she needs to sit down with their parents and discuss their interest in a particular art. My mother now she is happy with what I’m doing, I am in China because of dance.”
Teeballs said he discovered his talent in dancing when he was still a young boy.
“After finishing my high school in 2013, I joined Sesfikile dance group. I later joined the school of dancing without my parent’s knowledge as I pursued my dream,” he said.
“In June 2019, we received messages about a China-based dance group that was looking for dancers and all the paperwork was done. That is how I came here (China).”
Off the stage, Teeballs said he was an entrepreneur.
“Besides dancing, I export clothes, phones, shoes and other things to Zimbabwe for sale. I am very grateful for my success story. People here appreciate art so much unlike back home. It was not an easy journey back there,” he said.