AFTER years of participating in the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival, Mutare-based mbakumba dance group Dapurahunanzva finally struck the right chord on Saturday after being adjudged this year’s national champions.

The 17-member group proved a force to reckon with as they outclassed nine other provincial representatives to emerge ultimate winners of the grand prize at the competition’s national finals held at Harare Gardens.

The Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival is a long-running empowerment programme sponsored by Delta Beverages through the Chibuku brand and co-ordinated by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in partnership with the Zimbabwe Traditional Dance Association. For its efforts which pleased both the judges and the crowd, Dapurahunanzva walked away US$15 000 richer.

Guruve Arts Ensemble, who represented Mashonaland Central province came second through its dinhe dance, while Dedza Chitandidzo from Harare grabbed third position through their nyau dance.

Guruve Arts Ensemble and Dedza Chitandidzo pocketed US$12 000 and US$5 000, respectively.

Dapurahunanzva leader Keaven Simomondo told NewsDay Life & Style that they had made Manicaland province proud.

“I am very much elated by our performance. We are happy to be taking the trophy back home,” he said, adding that the group had done wonders for Manicaland province.

“We are happy to be identified as the people of Manicaland. Our hope is to inject the money into the development of the group for the upkeep of our artistes since dancing is our full-time work.”

SimomondoA attributed the win to hard work.

“We have previously participated in Chibuku Neshamwari since 2003, but this is our first time to win at the national finals. We run a dancing academy and the plan is to always keep on supporting dance,” she added.

Other groups that competed at the festival are Goromonzi Arts (Mashonaland East) who exhibited jerusarema dance, Dzimbamabwe (Masvingo) who showcased majukwa dance.

Matabeleland North was represented by Pezhuba Pachena who showcased nsumbule dance and Bolamba Performing Arts from Matabeleland South, whose setapa dance enthralled  many.

The city of Kings and Queens, Bulawayo was represented by Unlenje Arts which showcased the amabhiza dance, M’kango Nyaure represented the Midlands province through their nyau dance, while Mashonaland West had Budiriro Arts, who performed the mbakumba dance.

Off the stage, the event sponsors Delta Beverages also announced the winners of the Big60 Promotion which saw four lucky winners driving away brand new Navara vehicles.

Top musicians Killer T and Jah Prayzah provided entertainment as guest artistes.

Source Newsday