Gibson Mhaka, Showbiz Reporter
CHIBUKU Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival 2017 national winners, Ezimnyama Dance Ensemble, will once again carry the hopes of Bulawayo province at this year’s Neshamwari finals set for Kadoma after they emerged winners of the Bulawayo competition on Saturday afternoon.
The 17-member group shrugged off stiff competition from seven other groups that participated at the provincial finals at Manor Hotel.
For their efforts, Ezimnyama Dance Ensemble walked away $1 000 richer while second-placed Unlenje and Bambanani Women Ensemble who were third received $800 and $600 respectively.
Other groups which participated in the provincial contest were Ibutho Lesizwe, Snippers, Iluba Lemvelo, Black Tigers and Jaiva Traditional group. The other three groups that were supposed to participate failed to make it because of logistical challenges.
Speaking on their victory, Ezimnyama Dance Ensemble director Phibion Ncube who attributed their victory to hard work and creativity said he was confident that they were going to conquer at the national finals like what they did in 2017 at the finals that were held at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.
“We’re so excited to be crowned Bulawayo champions once again and we want to rally the Bulawayo community to support us since we’re going to represent the province at the national finals in Kadoma. We’re confident that we’ll conquer at the national finals,” declared Ncube.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association (ZNTDA) president, Kennedy Kachuruka who attended the provincial finals, appealed for support to capacitate and unlock the potential of the country’s arts industry.
“The Bulawayo provincial finals were an excellent event. We had a couple of new groups that came on board and showcased their talent. There was also an overwhelming response in terms of attendance,” said Kachuruka.
He said it was their wish as ZNTDA to host workshops for artistes.
“Since we’re a non-profit making organisation, we need funding to capacitate the arts sector. We’re happy that Delta has been supporting us since 1963 but we still want more support. For example, we need funds to roll out training skills workshops so as to capacitate artists so we’re appealing to all those who can assist to approach us,” said Kachuruka.
This weekend, the Chibuku Neshamwari provincial finals for Mashonaland East will be held in Marondera followed by Matabeleland South finals next Saturday at Maloxo Beerhall in Beitbridge.