Gwanda’s Bolamba Performing Arts’ dream to perform outside the country’s borders has finally come true as the group is billed to perform at two festivals in Botswana and South Africa this year.
Their first appearance will be at the Babirwa Arts Festival in Botswana at the end of May. In August, they will travel to South Africa for a performance at the Mapungukwe Arts Festival in Limpopo.
The group that was formed in 2009, last year competed and won several local traditional dance competitions such as the Ingwebu Traditional Dance, Chibuku Neshamwari (Matabeleland South) and Matabeleland South Agricultural Show traditional dance competition. Their director, Mthabisi Dube, said they were humbled to see that their hard work was now bearing fruits.
“We’re happy and honoured to be invited to perform at such prestigious events and we attribute this to every member’s hard work.
“The passion that we have for arts has seen us growing from nothing in the rural areas to where we are now.
“Honestly, we feel that we deserve to be where we are now because of the hard work we’ve put in as evidenced by the traditional dance competitions we have won so far” he said.
The group this year got nominations for the National Arts Merit Awards and Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) in the Outstanding Dance Group categories.
Though they did not win the Nama gong, Dube said the group which also performs contemporary dances, was hopeful of winning the BAA.
Commenting on their forthcoming shows in the neighbouring countries, Dube said they had always wanted to showcase the country’s diverse cultures to foreigners through their performances and now they have been given the opportunity.
“As a group we feel it is our responsibility to market the Sotho, Tswana, Shona and Ndebele cultures worldwide through our dances,” said Dube.