Third time lucky as Man­i­ca­land group wins Chibuku dance con­test

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Bon­gani Ndlovu Show­biz Cor­re­spon­dent

BEN Arinoti dancers from Red­wing Mine in Man­i­ca­land are this year’s win­ners of Chibuku Ne­shamwari Tra­di­tional Dance Fes­ti­val fi­nals held at White City Sta­dium in Bu­l­awayo on Satur­day and walked away with $7,000.

The group from the mine which is in Mu­tasa dis­trict beat Bu­l­awayo’s Sekun­jalo MaAfrica who came sec­ond and bagged $5,000 while Harare’s Mara­muro Gure was third and won $3,000.

Tu­pele Mdala, Red­wing Mine di­rec­tor said his group was de­lighted to win the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter hav­ing tried its luck three times.

“We were well pre­pared for the com­pe­ti­tion and we knew the vic­tory was ours. We were de­ter­mined to take the ac­co­lade home and we’re happy we ac­com­plished that,” said Mdala.

Per­form­ing in front of a big crowd that con­verged at the Sta­dium for the fi­nals, the group clad in white and navy blue po­lice-like uni­forms, im­pressed judges and mu­sic lovers with their en­er­getic dances.

In the Ben Arinoti dance, men take the lead role with the leader clad in a cap­tain’s sash, blow­ing the whis­tle while oth­ers beat drums with fe­male dancers cheer­ing them from the side­lines. The dance is pop­u­lar in Malawi and was pop­u­larised lo­cally by Red­wing Mine work­ers in Mu­tasa dis­trict af­ter they re­alised that there was no en­ter­tain­ment at the mine.

It was a bat­tle of min­ing towns dances at this year’s fi­nals as Ben Arinoti, Zam­bia Nyau and Gule Wamkulu were most pop­u­lar.

Sekun­jalo MaAfrica di­rec­tor Arnold Nde­bele said he was happy at be­ing sec­ond de­scrib­ing the com­pe­ti­tion as stiff. The group per­formed the Umzansi – a South African dance from Kwazulu Natal. It is a mix­ture of Isichatamiya, Isishameni and isiBhaca.

“We’re over­joyed by com­ing sec­ond. We tried our best to take the prize but we were beaten by Red­wing Mine group. The com­pe­ti­tion was tough as the groups were very good. Com­ing sec­ond isn’t bad,” Nde­bele said.

He said they would use their prize money to buy equip­ment for the group and also in­vest in in­come gen­er­at­ing projects.

Ben Arinoti dancers on stage at White City Sta­dium in Bu­l­awayo

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