Dzimbabwe Dance Group from Nemanwa won this year's edition of the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival provincial finals held at Huruyadzo Gardens in Chivi last weekend.
Dzimbabwe Dance Group beat nine other groups with their rainmaking ceremonial dance to walk away with the first prize of $500. Kamba Shangara came second and received $300 for their effort while third placed Guhudza Mhande received $200.
Speaking before announcing the winners Zimbabwe National Traditional Dancers Association (ZNTDA) Finance and Marketing Officer, Nyadzy Mirisawu, urged groups not to use pregnant women and juveniles aged below 18 years as dancers. She added that some groups used more than one type of dance when they were expected to showcase only one genre. Perfomance time, she said, was limited to less than 15 minutes.
Edson Kuseka, ZNTDA vice-president, said the festival was founded by Rufaro Marketing in 1965 as a way of restoring and keeping our cultural heritage. He said Chibuku had taken over the festival keeping that tradition and in addition assisting Zimbabweans to keep their identity.
"Dzimbabwe Dance Group have participated in the festival for a number of years and last year they managed to come second before being crowned champions this year," Kuseka said.
Dzimbahwe Dance Group leader, Ratson Haruzivishe, said he has been involved with the group since he was 14-years old.
"I had a very unusual experience when I was 14-years old and since then I have been interested in our culture. I went down to the river to take a bath and while I was there I decided to sit down and rest. I thought I was sitting on a log when in fact it was a python," Haruzivishe said.
This year's winners of the provincial competitions will travel to Bulwayo's White City Stadium on July 30 where they will battle for honours with winners from the other provinces.entertainment