Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
Mhlabathi Kings, a traditional dance group made up of juveniles has taken Victoria Falls by storm as it is getting a lot of invitations to perform at house parties.
Despite the lockdown, residents are hosting parties and the group has been leading the entertainment.
This past Saturday, Mhlabathi Kings were the main entertainers at Victoria Falls businessman, Paul Shambare’s 40th birthday celebrations where the lads gave a spirited performance that left people asking for more.
They were also scheduled to perform at another birthday party on the same day in the afternoon.
Formed by 15-year-old Mthokozisi Ncube, Mhlabathi Kings has 13 members aged between 10 and 14 who are all Chinotimba Primary School pupils.
After failing to attract girls to join the group, Mhlabathi Kings which performs an array of dances including isitshikitsha, amabhiza, amantshomane, imbube and ihosana, has been hiring Prisca Manyewu and Praise Nyathi, both aged 10 to perform with them.
The two girls are also Chinotimba Primary pupils and members of Khayisa Arts Club, another dance group in Vic Falls.
Mthokozisi, now doing Form One at Herentals College, is son to Dingani Ncube a dancer from Umkhankaso Wamajaha, one of the top imbube groups in Victoria Falls.
He said he formed the group when he was still at Chinotimba Primary, probably to show the fruits of the country’s competence-based curriculum under which learners are being taught lifelong skills to capacitate them in any sector of the economy including arts.
In an interview, Mthokozisi who is the group’s co-lead vocalist with Trymore Mutokweya, said they have been getting invites to a number of paid functions.
“I felt I could do it just like my father. I’m following in his footsteps. To make my vision work, I looked for other boys to join me and we started rehearsing at an open ground behind Cresta Sprayview Hotel.
“We once performed at Dusty Road Restaurant in Chinotimba and the owner was impressed. She’s been so supportive of our group ever since,” said Mthokozisi.
He said the group’s focus now is to perform outside Victoria Falls once lockdown measures are eased. “We do isitshikitsha, amabhiza, amantshomane, imbube and ihosana dances which we learnt from school.
We’ve done our research and seen that we can beat all groups currently available in Victoria Falls because of the talent we have.
“We wish to go out of Victoria Falls and show the whole country that we have talent. We also want to attract sponsors that can support us and pay school fees for our members,” he said.
So far, a well-wisher in Victoria Falls donated amabhetshu for the group. Sadly, one of the founding members of the group, Tanatswa Maphosa who was doing Grade 5 at Chinotimba Primary School died about two months ago after a short illness. – @ncubeleon