Chibuku Neshamwari finals on tomorrow

HARARE - The annual Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival, which features 10 provincial champions, will explode at Bulawayo’s White City Stadium tomorrow.

This year’s edition has been spiced up by the increase of the first prize from $4 000 to $7 000, the second prize from $3 000 to $5 000 while the third prize has been amplified to $3 000 from $2 000.

The groups that will take part in the finals of the  Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival are  Maramuro Agure (Harare) who perform the Malawi Nyau dance; Kalawi Gure (Mashonaland Central) who perform  Malawi Nyau; Tsitsa Mwana Gure (Mashonaland West) who specialise in Zambia Nyau; Sekunjalo maAfrica (Bulawayo) who perform Umzansi; Pezhuba Pachena (Matebeleland North) who perform Nsumbule; Fix Changoma (Midlands) who are experts of  Isangoma; Dzimbabwe T. D (Masvingo) who perform Majukwa and Redwing Beni (Manicaland) while How Mine Beni (Matabeleland South) and Acturus Beni (Mashonaland East) specialise in Beni Arinoti.

Interestingly, this year’s competition is dominated by Nyau,Chimtali and Beni Arinoti dance groups. Jerusarema Mbende dance that was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage for Humanity by Unesco in 2005 is conspicuous by its absence from the dances that will be showcased in the City of Kings.

Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association president Kennedy Kachuruka told the Daily News why Nyau, Chimtali and Beni Arinoti dance groups dominated provincial competitions.

“Alien groups mostly in mining areas gather every weekend to showcase the dances such as Nyau, Chimtali and Beni Arinoti among others as a form of entertainment. As such they have high chances of winning,” he said.

Founded in 1963, the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival is a tripartite partnership involving the Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and Delta Beverages.

Last year, the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance National Competition was won by Mashonaland East’s Makarekare Traditional Dance Troop.

In 2014, Ngoma Dzepasi, a dance group from the same province, won the competition.

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