Chiwoniso's nephew forms dance group

HARARE - Wesley Maraire, nephew to late mbira queen Chiwoniso Maraire, has teamed up with three other dance enthusiasts to form a traditional dance ensemble called Tamba Africa.

The group, that is run by a board that includes Blessed Rukweza, creative director Victor Peturo and Maraire as operations director, seeks to promote various African dances.

“Tamba Africa seeks to showcase cultural African Dances. Unesco has declared that Jerusarema and Mbende are under threat so we are taking it upon ourselves to preserve the dances. We will choreograph to incorporate modern elements,” said Mararire.

The Tamba Africa operations director added that the new dance group would also be used as a platform to identify and develop new talent.

“It is a social enterprise. The idea is to also give talented youths a platform on which to develop their talent. The majority of the dancers we are working with have gone through professional dance in Zimbabwe at the Africera Dance School where they do year-long courses which focus on all types of dances. People in the age group range from 19 to 23 years old.

“We are providing employment to people who do not have platforms to showcase their talents. It is an income-generating initiative that is why we call it a social enterprise,” Maraire told the Daily News.

The dance group, that was formed a few months ago, has already won the support of Jean Moxon of Meikles.

“Turnout is slowly picking up as it is a new initiative. We are now renovating our own place in town that was given to us by Jean Moxon of Meikles .We hope to create two dance studios and hope to start operating from there in the coming year.

“So far we have performed at the Starlight Dance Festival at the National Ballet of Zimbabwe and at an airline launch. We started getting everyone together in July and we were incorporated in October,” said Mararire.

Tamba Africa is offering dance lessons at Old Georgians Sports Club on Mondays and Thursdays and at St Giles on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

 

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