Nyore Madzianike Senior Arts Reporter
Bulawayo-based dance ensemble Ezimnyama are this year’s winners of the annual Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival national finals after they beat nine other groups at an event held on Saturday at Rimuka Stadium in Kadoma.
The 17-member group walked away with $15 000 plus a trophy. This is their second time having landed the top prize some two years ago at White City Stadium.
Ezimnyama won with their Tswana traditional dance “Setapae”, that originated from Botswana. The dance is also popular in Matabeleland South.
Mashonaland West province representatives Budiriro Arts Ensemble came second and received $10 000 while Totambengoma from Harare walked away with $ 5 000. They received silver and bronze medals respectively.
Ezimnyama dance ensemble artistic director Phibion Ncube said hard work and dedication earned them the top prize. “We feel honoured to be once again crowned Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival national finals winners,” he said.
“As Ezimnyama we do not just perform dances from the region, but we go across the board. What we did was to go and research deeper in Botswana about this Setapae dance.
“I want to encourage my colleagues to do more researches on customs and creativity. You can only win the competition by working hard,” he said.
Ncube said they will channel their prize towards developmental projects.
“Vision and discipline has seen us going strong since inception. What we normally do as Ezimnyama is that we nurture talent and promote it,” he said.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe deputy director Josiah Kusena hailed the festival organisers, Delta Beverages, for promoting culture in Zimbabwe through the festival.
Sungura ace Alick Macheso and his Orchestra Mberikwazvo spiced up the festival as a guest performer.
He gave a top drawer performance.Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival is an annual event aimed at empowering unheralded artistes and nurturing talent around the country.
The programme is sponsored by Delta Beverages through their Chibuku brand and co-ordinated by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in partnership with Zimbabwe Traditional Dance Association.