Mathew Masinge, Entertainment Reporter
Bulawayo outfit Ezimnyama has described their second win at the Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Festival as part of their continued efforts in art development.
The group emerged winners with 409 points at this year’s finals held in Kadoma on Saturday ahead of nine other contestants.
For their efforts, the 17-member ensemble which also won the competition in 2017, pocketed $15 000.
Ezimnyama showcased their Setapa dance which originates from Botswana but is also practiced in Matabeleland South.
Mash-west’s Budiriro Arts scooped second price whilst Harare’s Totambengoma were third.
They both walked away with $10 000 and $8 000 respectively.
“We have been nurturing talent at Ezimnyama and we have a working junior policy to make sure that we promote the practice amongst the younger generation.
“Through our vision we go around the country and across our borders doing performances to enrich our skills.
“The group has also been to Botswana where we did our research and camping before the national finals,” said group director Phibion Ncube.
Ncube encouraged fellow groups to perfect their art.
“You can only win the competition when you work hard, my only advice to fellow competitors is to invest in research of their dances.
“The secret is in working on the costumes, creativity and knowing the dance very well because it’s a cultural practice that determines a clan,” he said.
The group was formed in 2009 in the City of Kings and Queens.
After winning the title in 2017, the ensemble has managed to invest in building an art center in Bulawayo and expect to embark on a regional tour later this year.
As promised, sungura ace Alick Macheso performed during the after party where he sampled a few of his new compositions in the mining town.
The musician also churned out his yesteryear hits such as Mundikumbuke, and Charakupa among others
The event was also graced by officials from Delta, National Arts Council and the Zimbabwe Traditional Dancers Association.