At the recently concluded Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Finale, which had 10 groups from each of the 10 provinces fighting for the top honors, Mutare-based traditional dance group Dapurahunanzva took home the top prize.
Killer T and contemporary musician Jah Prayzah serenaded hundreds of fans who attended the tournament, which took place on Saturday at the main stage of the Harare Gardens.
First runners-up were the Budiriro Arts group from Mashonaland West Province, while third place went to Dedza Chitandizo from Harare Province.
Keaven Simomondo, the leader of the Dapurahunanzva group, told The Herald Arts that they were pleased with their victory after years of participation in the competition.
We’ve been participating in this festival since 2010, and every year, the competition has been fierce, he remarked.
“We have always prevailed in provincial competitions, but this is our first national victory.
“I believe that what has gotten us thus far is a result of courage and perseverance. Our training has taken place at Bait Hall, and we are situated in Mutare.
The ensemble was founded in 1998, and since then, it has performed at numerous festivals across the nation as well as at national and educational events.
Simomondo claimed that they were inspired by the well-known “mbakumba” dance when they performed it.
He declared that a worldwide tour was currently being planned.
Simomondo admitted that it was challenging for them to create the dance that was performed at the festival. I want to congratulate the team for their dedication and hard effort, especially the trainers Reginald Tinavapi and Taurai Moyo, who were always by the group’s side during the difficult journey.
They assisted with the choreography and the transitions between locations. As we also want to promote the culture of the province, we are now preparing to perform a national tour to promote this dance, the mbakumba, as well as an international tour with four other Manicaland dances.
Simomondo stated that a documentary on the dance ensemble was being planned.
To promote the dance tradition in Zimbabwe, he added, “We want to publish a DVD on unusual dances, especially from Manicaland.”