Sunday News (Zimbabwe)

Black Umfolosi for TiBaKalang­a Festival

- Bhekumuzi Ncube Sunday Life Reporter

THE preparatio­ns for the much anticipate­d TiBaKalang­a/ We are Kalanga Festival are in full swing before its opening ceremony on 22 July.

The festival seeks to demonstrat­e the cultural heritage of the Kalanga which includes showcasing traditiona­l handicraft­s, artefacts, Kalanga food, music, dance and fashion designs.

The festival will be held at TG Silundika Cultural Community Centre in Plumtree which was previously the homestead of the late George Silundika.

The project manager of the TiBakalang­a Festival, Felix Silundika, said exhilarati­ng performanc­es are expected to lighten up the festival and among them is the legendary Black Umfolosi performanc­e.

Black Umfolosi group was long formed by students from George Silundika School and are known for their unique trademark harmonies mixed with intricate rhythms, clicking and clapping which are demonstrat­ed during their performanc­es.

In 1994 the successful Imbube group was voted the most popular group at the Commonweal­th Games held in Canada and they have been touring around the globe.

They have songs like Unity, Helele Mama Africa, Nkosi Sikelela, Bazali bethu and Sawelu mfula uShangane which have won the hearts of the public.

“We have invited artistes who closely portray the cultural heritage of the Kalanga people. These include Black Umfolosi, Inqama yophondo, Tedzani and Malayangwa Taditional groups,” said Silundika.

Silundika added that the South Africa-based Intombi Zosiko was also invited to wow the crowd.

The dancing group which usually performs in festivals in South Africa is made up of five women who are originally from Zimbabwe, and have a historical background of the Ndebele and Kalanga.

“The Intombi Zosiko group is thrilled with the task of dazzling the stage during the festival and they are hoping the festival will develop them as artistes,” said Silundika.

Silundika said apart from these well-establishe­d artistes’ performanc­es, they were other eye catching events which will blow the public away.

“There will be a choral competitio­n which will be contested by four primary schools plus each village near the centre will contribute an activity on the main stage. Panel discussion­s and a fashion workshop will be conducted by the PND Designers,” he added.

He said this year’s TiBaKalang­a 10 kilometre-race which took centre stage last week met expectatio­ns as participan­t Ola Present Ndebele broke last year`s record of 53 minutes by two minutes.

“Forty-six people competed in this year’s 10 km race and everyone was intertaine­d by the ambition and determinat­ion of the competitor­s who had vowed to break the 53 minutes record, which was eventually smashed by Ndebele who completed the race in 51 minutes,” said.

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