Clownish Sibanda goes a gear up

BULAWAYO - Former Iyasa dancer and actor Futurelove Sibanda says his stint in Europe has exposed him to the many facets of the professional arts industry.

The hilarious Sibanda, who is currently studying in Austria, recently delighted his fans with a top-class stand-up comedy act at Amakhosi Cultural Centre.

Sibanda told the Daily News that Zimbabwe’s arts industry has a lot to learn from Europe.

“While I am not suggesting that our industry here is lagging behind, I am basically saying the arts industry in Europe is like religion”, said the ex-Iyasa icon who is on a holiday break in Zimbabwe.

“It (arts industry) is crazily worshipped. During my two-year stint in Austria I have learnt a lot about the diversity of the arts industry.

“It has been really an eye-opening stay that I would like to appreciate. It is as if the whole world depends on the arts. Talk of theatre, dance and other genres.

“You see two-year-old kids getting initiated into the industry and that’s how determined they are,” said the comical Sibanda.

The former Iyasa favourite believes government support for the arts has propelled the arts to a higher level in Europe.

“Governments there fully appreciate the arts and provide adequate funding. You won’t see artists who are suffering as is usually the case here at home.”

The award-winning artist has come up with different solo productions ranging from music, theatre and stand-up comedy.

“Since I left for Austria there has not been much of a change between the clownish Future people used to know and the one based outside the country. Actually what I have only added is to intensify my creativity levels across diverse genres.

“For instance, I have come up with close to six plays which have done wonders out there as they have been well appreciated. I have also come up with a popular stand-up comedy show titled Kept in the Future. At the risk of sounding as if I am bragging from the response I have got so far — it is a masterpiece”.

During his stunning December 30 performance at Amakhosi, Sibanda indeed showed what a mature professional he has become.

His one-man comedy act called Izithozomzimba blew away the fans. Clad in his traditional clownish attire, the artist managed to keep the fully-packed Amakhosi theatre hall in stitches.

Before moving to study abroad, Sibanda gained nationwide popularity due to his rib-tickling and spectacular dances.

He was part of a dazzling Iyasa pioneer team that also included dance queen Sandra Ndebele.

While in Austria, Sibanda put the Zimbabwean flag on the international spotlight after he bagged six trophies during the 2010 World Dance Tour competitions that were held in Croatia.

He scooped the first prizes in different categories ahead of 3 000 other contestants drawn from different parts of the world.

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