Leonard Ncube , Victoria Falls Reporter
HWANGE-based Shantani musical group is set to represent Matabeleland North at the Chibuku Road to Fame national finals scheduled for Glamis Stadium in Harare on Saturday.
The event that is organised by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) in partnership with Delta Beverages through its Chibuku brand returned this year after a two-year break due to Covid-19. Ten groups from each of the country’s 10 provinces are set to compete at the national finals.
Shantani, who play Afro-fusion saw off the challenge of nine other groups at the Matabeleland North provincial finals held in Victoria Falls last week. The participating groups were drawn from a cross-section of genres including Amapiano and Zimdancehall, a genre which made a maiden appearance at the annual fete.
The band that is not new to the competition, is the second group from Hwange to represent Matabeleland North at the national level after Pezhuba Pachena carried the provincial flag to the national finals of the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival last month.
Assistant band leader of the eight-member group, Pharaoh Mudenda said they are ready to fight for the top accolade.
“We eagerly waited for this. We’ve competed before and the last time we went to the national finals, we managed to make the third position.
We’re promising our fans a high-level performance as we’re going to change gears and perform better than what we did at the provincial finals,” said Mudenda.
“We’re ready for the event in Harare and have escalated our rehearsals and added evening sessions.” The group is expected to travel to Harare on Thursday ahead of the Saturday event.
Shantani was formed in February 2006 in Lwendulu and of the eight members, two are female.
NACZ spokesperson Rodney Ruwende said preparations for the national finals were at an advanced stage. He thanked Delta Beverages for bankrolling the event despite the economic challenges faced as a result of Covid-19.
“This is the first Chibuku Road to Fame after the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions. All provinces have held their provincial finals and are now preparing for the national finals,” Ruwende said.
Of note, Ruwende said its music genres have increased to include Zimdancehall and Amapiano which are popular with youths.
“This expansion of genres is good in that it accommodates many artistes,” he said. – @ncubeleon