BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
MARVEL dancer Nyasha “Noni” Madzinga (28) known as “Noni the dancer” makes a return after taking a year’s sabbatical from the stage.
Rising to fame after featuring in urban groover Ex-Q’s award-winning Allelujah video as one of the dancers, Noni has become one of the most sought-after local dancers.
The self-taught dancer has performed at various events that include the Harare International Carnival, Shoko Festival, Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) and Zimbabwe Fashion Week.
“I have been in the industry for 12 years. I started dancing in Mbare as the only female in a dance crew called Fusion X. For five years, I participated in the competition as the only female dancer.
“I am happy that there are more female dancers now popping up. My first breakthrough employer was Jah Prayzah. Dancing is something that I taught myself and also got help from other people.
“I believe a combination of people, research, competitiveness and consistency has helped me in becoming what I am today.
Of dancers’ treatment
“Dancers are not taken seriously in certain areas, I just wish they (dancers) would be given equal treatment as that given to musicians and
“I wish we could be valued since many consider dancers as non-essential in the showbiz industry. There is a need to create more opportunities for Zimbabwean dancers.
“I pray that more dance cultures could be created as they give life to dance competitions and battles which help people to recognise what dance is. I would also appreciate having free dance classes in communities.
“I have worked with a number of artistes, among them Ammara Brown, Nutty O, ExQ, Roki and Jah Prayzah, whom I am currently working with.
“The experience has been amazing and educational. It has been a lifetime experience that I will never trade for anything. It taught me how to stand my ground and be proud to be a dancer.
“Working with these people has helped my career grow. My experience in the dance industry has moulded me into one of the most powerful and strong dancers in Zimbabwe. It has also enabled me to grow in character.
“Dancing has changed my life and I am grateful about it because without it, I doubt I would be the person that I am today.
“Dancing has opened up new avenues and opportunities for me as I am now doing some stuff I never imagined I would ever do. I have also benefited in terms of networking and created relationships that will sustain and also create jobs for me.
“Dance is something that made me strong. I have invested in it and have no regrets. Even if I go through tough times, I always keep pushing. It has brought me joy, self-belief and strength that I never thought I possessed.
“Gender discrimination, being underpaid and not being taken serious has been the major challenges.
“I wish those problems would be fixed and people recognise and invest in dancing. I believe everything that has to do with music revolves around dance.
“As I make a return to the industry, I have a surprise I am working on, but not to be disclosed at the moment. I had taken a break from dance, but I am coming back with something that is going to benefit dancers out there.
“I am aiming to do things that other dancers could not do just to bring back the life of dance. I would like to teach dance to the younger ones trying to break into the industry.
Off the stage
“I am aspiring to be a chef currently studying at a Culinary Arts Academy.”
- Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari