6 August 2018
Guruve arts ensemble – Marimba – scooped the top prize at this year’s edition of the Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Festival held at Manicaland Showgrounds in Mutare on Saturday afternoon.
The group which showcased the dinhe dance, popular with the kore kore people, went home with a $7000 cash prize capped with a trip to China.
The group from Mashonaland Central shrugged off competition from traditional dancers from nine other provinces.
Makarekare of Mashonaland East (Jerusarema Mbende dance) were the first runners up walking away with $5000 while Bolamba from Matabeleland South were the second runners up getting $3000.
Chibuku Neshamwari celebrated 55 years of existence this year and the organisers decided to make it special by introducing another category – contemporary dance competition.
This new category, which gave the whole event a refreshing moment, saw five groups competing for top honours.
It was won by the duo of Peter and Vein who got $3000 and a trip to China like their counterparts from the traditional dance.
The new category has been introduced in partnership with Dreamstar who brought all the five dance groups.
For Guruve Arts Ensemble, the major achievement is a trip to China having won the top prize before.
“We have won first prize before so in as much as we celebrate the victory, we are much happy with the trip,” said Zacharia Five, the group’s manager.
“Dinhe dance is about celebrating and it is now being performed across Zimbabwe but it is dominated in Mashonaland Central with the korekore people.
So with this trip to China, we will have a chance to take a piece of local culture into foreign land.
It is everyone’s dream to represent his/her country at any level in various disciplines. So it is our chance as Guruve Arts Ensemble.
“We are an arts centre with so many members but those who have participated here and won will travel to China,” said Five.
Dreamstar Arts Director Leonard Mapfumo hailed Delta Beverages, the organisers of the event, for roping in contemporary dance.
Mapfumo said they now have something to look forward to on their ‘low key’ calendar.
“This is good for contemporary dancers. It’s now good because we have something to look forward to on the calendar.
“Unlike in the past, the dancers could only practice for video shoots. They now know they have to practice ahead of the Chibuku Neshamwari Festival every year,” said Mapfumo.
Dancehall star Winky D entertained the crowd who thronged the showgrounds to witness cultural exchange later in the evening.
The chanter had a good day in office with fans embracing his new single Parliament before he drove back to Harare to continue with the winning formula at the Koffi Olomide concert at the Harare International Conference Centre the same night.