Chibuku Neshamwari evolves 

Takudzwa Chihambakwe 
WINDS of change are blowing at Chibuku Neshamwari Dance festival.
The event is no longer for outright traditional dances as it now incorporates a contemporary dance category.

The festival has over the years proven to be one of the few remaining pure national preserves of local dance and song cultural heritage but events that transpired in Mutare, were the finals were held, suggested a paradigm shift.

Market forces appear to be forcing organisers to rework their model a development that Chibuku brand manager, Karen Dhliwayo confirmed in an interview with this publication.

“Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Festival has over the years been celebrating traditional dance groups, basketry, beadwork among many other forms of art.

But that is changing because Chibuku consumers have evolved over the years due in part to dynamic social developments influenced by rapid urbanisation and the advent of Chibuku Super, which has brought into the category a consumer who embodies the spirit of the modern African art,” notes Dhliwayo.

According to Dhliwayo, consumers of the Chibuku brand are now specific on their demands hence they have to respond fittingly.

“This customer is a traditionalist, deeply respectful and connected to his cultural roots – but also embraces changes in times, moves forward with optimism and dignity. This is the customer who consumes Chibuku Super.

“This year Chibuku NeShamwari Dance Festival not only celebrated traditional dance but also contemporary dance, which resonates well with the this new Chibuku consumer who appreciates genres like hip-hop, house, pantsula and break dance,” explained Dhliwayo.

The Delta Corporation official also highlighted they had partnered with Dreamstar who were managing the contemporary dance category.

“In the spirit of nourishing the bonds of brotherhood, the traditional dance winners for the 2018 edition, Guruve Marimba Dance group from Mashonaland Central and the contemporary dance winners, Peter Lenso and Ndineyi Alfazima, will form a group that will be showcasing a choreographed piece in China at a dance exhibition later this month,” revealed Dhliwayo.

Guruve Marimba walked away US$7 000 richer whilst the first and second runners-up in their category, Makare-Kare from Mashonaland East and Bolamba Arts from Matabeleland South pocketed US$5 000 and US$3 000 respectively.

In the contemporary dance section, winners Peter Lenso and Ndineyi Alfazima, pocketed US$3 000 whilst second and third placed, The Chosen and Forgotten Tribe received US$2 000 and US$1 000 respectively.

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