Tonderai Zvimba, Showbiz Reporter
BOLAMBA Performing Arts came first at the Ingwebu Cultural Dance Festivity national competition held this past weekend at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.
Saturday saw the very best of cultural dance groups from the southern region go head to head for the ultimate prize of $1 000.
Bolamba Performing Arts from Matabeleland South which specialises in dances like Setapa and Phathisi from Botswana emerged victorious on the day.
“We really worked hard towards these finals, we had came out number two at the provincial finals so we went back to the drawing board and drafted a winning strategy and in terms of the money we have a lot of projects on the table, before the end of the year we want to shoot a DVD and release a new album,” said the director Mthabisi Dube.
Simunye Arts from Matebeleland North came in at second position and took home $750.
“We did very well and we deserved the first position but it is competition at the end of the day,” said group director Misheck Muponda.
Mbada Arts Ensemble from Midlands province came in third and walked away with $500. Their choreographer Nickson Chengu said:
“It was a fair competition. We will go back and watch videos of the groups that did well so that we can improve and prepare for next year, and with the $500 we will buy a new costume and new equipment.”
One of the judges of the dance competition Evidence Siziba shed some light on how they came up with the winner: “We were not only looking for a good traditional dance but a good traditional dance with a story and the crowd often misleads the dancers and stray them away from the story.”
The crowd was treated to Maskandi tunes by Zinjaziyamluma and some Ndolwane sounds by Martin Sibanda who performed a mix of his old and new songs Sunduza, Africa, Bakhuzeni and the hits from his latest album Konke Sizokulungisa.
Ingwebu Breweries sales, marketing and corporate affairs executive Ndabezinhle Mlilo said he was very happy with the way the event turned out and the groups exhibited a high level of competition.
“The competition is going to be an annual event and next year we would love to introduce other things like poetry and the selling of artifacts,” he said.