LAST Saturday Ezimnyama dance ensemble were the toast of the 54th edition of the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance competition final held at White City stadium.
They proved to all and sundry that they have mastered the skill in the dance game.
Their mastery saw them putting a polished performance against a fierce competition from nine of the best acts drawn from nine provinces vying for the top prize.
Ezimnyama dance ensemble undoubtedly put a top drawer performance that left no one with questions but convinced the group indeed deserved to win.
For their stellar performance the dance outfit walked away $7 000 richer.
Spokesperson of the group, Phibion Ncube attributed their crowning glory moment to patience and hard work.
“We were the provincial winners in 2015 but lost in the final. We lost dismally as our group wasn’t even in the top three. But we never gave up. We worked hard,” he said.
He added “We practice three times a week and as a result we have won the prestigious Chibuku Neshamwari.”
Ncube said 2017 is one of their memorable years as they were invited to perform at a festival in Egypt soon after winning the national finals. Not only that, at the recently held Bulawayo Arts Awards, the group was nominated in two categories — the outstanding traditional dance ensemble while one of their female dancer was nominated in the outstanding female dance category.
“By being nominated in two categories it proved that our works are being recognised in the arts industry and that was an honour to us. By the same token we are grateful and proud as one of our own Dadirai Mupandawana won in the best female dance category. We were also nominated as outstanding dance group in National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA),” she said.
Isitshikitsha, setapa, hosanna and muchongoyo are some of the dances that the group performs in events where they are invited.
Ncube paid tribute to Thandanani Dance Ensemble and Khayisa Theatre Group for being good mentors.
“The workshops that we hold with seasoned groups such as Thandanani and Umkhathi Theatre Group have helped us perfect our skills,” he said.
Ncube said it has become a tradition for his group to perform at Intwasa, Ibumba and Lupane Arts festivals.
They have also performed at Sanganai/Hlanganani travel expo.
The dance ensemble was formed in February 2009 in Matshobane suburb in Bulawayo.
Ncube who is the founding member of the dance group said he started with five boys and five girls.
“I realised that there was talent in the suburb as such I recruited five boys and five girls between the ages of 18 and 21 and we formed the group Ezimnyama Dance Ensemble. Our group has grown and we are now 15 members,” he said.
They conduct their practice sessions at Matshobane Hall.