BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
IT was pomp and fanfare on Saturday as eight traditional dance groups battled for honours at the Mashonaland West provincial Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival held at Chikangwe Tavern in Karoi.
Kadoma-based Budiriro Cultural Arts group emerged provincial winners with their Mbakumba dance and booked a ticket to represent Mashonaland West province at the national finals.
This year’s Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival’s grand finale is scheduled for August 6 in Harare.
Established in 1991, the 15-member Budiriro Cultural Arts group walked away US$2 500 richer.
Of late, they have won in different categories including Jerusarema, Dinhe and Muchongoyo among others dances.
Budiriro Cultural Arts group director Baster Sindi told NewsDay Life & Style that they were geared for the best at the competition’s national finals.
“We look forward to bringing the trophy to the province. This trophy has slipped through our hands of late,” he said.
“We did quite well in variation, performance and time frame as requested by the judges. This gave us the edge among other participants.”
As the competition proved to be a Kadoma affair, another group from the mining town, Rimuka Stars, a Nyau dance group came second and pocketed US$1 500, while Ben Arinoti from Muriel Mine in Mutorashanga got US$1 000 after coming third.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Dancers Association president Kennedy Kachuruka said COVID-19 affected the artists and the creative space at large.
“With the outbreak of COVID-19, artists faced challenges in regaining exposure and market for their creative works,” he said.
“Art is life and business as it depicts various identities. Art is also a way of life to many.”
Delta Beverages spokesperson Patricia Murambinda said through their Chibuku brand the organisation strove to promote arts and culture.
“This Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival has become important in promoting and ensuring that traditional dances, which are some of our crucial intangible cultural heritages, are celebrated,” she said.
The festival returned this year after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The festival has, over the years, earned dance groups global recognition and performances at various corporate and cultural events.
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