Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
WELL-travelled Imbube group, Black Umfolosi, have cancelled their annual international tour as they want to first find a replacement for their late group member, Alec Ncube. In March this year, Ncube, who was part of the globetrotting group for over 25 years, died at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo after succumbing to blood cancer.
As such, the group, having lost an integral member, has been looking for a replacement from their pool of juniors who practice at their cultural centre in Entumbane.
Over the years, Black Umfolosi has toured Africa, Asia, Europe and North America since 1990. Last year, they were in Canada.
Normally, the group tours North America from February to March but according to Tomeki Dube, the group had to cancel their tours in order to blend in the new blood.
“This year has been very difficult for us as a group. We lost Alec Ncube, one of our longest serving members in March so it became important for us to try and find a replacement for him. From the pool of young artistes we’re training, we’ll choose one. Because of this, we had to cancel our international tours this year and we’ll resume next year,” said Dube.
He said in the meantime, Black Umfolosi will be working on projects to uplift the local culture. “We have programmes and projects in Bulawayo that we’re conducting from our centre and other towns and cities in Zimbabwe. Some of the activities include music training and arts and culture research projects.
“Next year, we want to revive some of the winter and summer cultural offerings in order to create a platform for arts and culture to thrive in Zimbabwe,” Dube said.