Redwing wins Chibuku Neshamwari

HARARE - Manicaland's Redwing Beni Arinoti scooped their third national Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival title after outshining nine other provincial representatives at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.

The 18-member Penhalonga-based dance group, which won the same competition in 1996 and 2007, took the first prize of $7 000 with Bulawayo’s Sekunjalo MaAfrica pocketing $5 000 after claiming second position.

Harare-based Maramuro Agure landed third position and $3000 in prize money.

Crowd favourite How Mine won the hearts of the fans but unfortunately their performance and stagecraft failed to impress the adjudicators.

This year’s national contest was dominated by Nyau, Chimtali and Beni Arinoti dance groups which contributed eight of the 10 contestants. The only exceptions were Bulawayo’s Sekunjalo MaAfrica who showcased Umzansi dance and Dzimbabwe T. D from Masvingo who performed Majukwa.

Jerusarema Mbende dance, that was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage for Humanity by UNESCO in 2005, was conspicuous by its absence at the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival finals.

Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association president Kennedy Kachuruka explained why Nyau, Chimtali and Beni Arinoti dance groups dominated provincial competitions this year.

“The so-called alien groups based 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,” said Kachuruka.

Redwing Mine Beni Arinoti’s artistic director Tupele Mdala told the Daily News that his group deserved the top accolade.

“We deserved to win because we worked hard for the competition. We have always done well in this competition. This is our third national Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival title since we were formed in 1996. We have also won an amazing haul of eight provincial titles,” said Mdala.

Other groups that took part in the competition were Kalawi Gure (Mashonaland Central) who performed Malawi Nyau; Acturus Beni (Mashonaland East) who showcased Beni Arinoti; Tsitsa Mwana Gure (Mashonaland West) who did a version of Zambia Nyau; Pezhuba Pachena (Matabeleland North) who performed Nsumbule; Fix Changoma (Midlands) who did Isangoma and Dzimbabwe T. D (Masvingo) who performed Majukwa.

The Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival, which has been running since 1963, is a tripartite partnership involving the Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and Delta Beverages.

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