MASVINGO – The Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) mbira band last week put on a stellar performance which earned them a first place at this year's edition of the Research and Intellectual Output (Rio Set) at the Natiuonal University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo.
Rio-Set is an annual event initiated by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
The GZU band shrugged off stiff competition from other top institutions like Midlands State University (MSU) and Harare Polytechnic to get the first place in the mbira segment of the competitions.
The group was led by Shadreck Dzingayi, a lecturer from the university's Department of English and Performing Arts.
Dzingayi said they managed to put a well-polished act despite some challenges they met during their preparations for the competition.
"After spending two weeks rehearsing, we realised we were doing that using the wrong theme. We only found out about it some two hours before the start of the competition.
"I would like to thank my vocalists for being very creative. They quickly composed a new song in a few minutes but surprisingly, we came out tops," an ecstatic Dzingayi said.
He thanked the university for the massive support given to the band; right from the preparations up until the competitions in Bulawayo.
Students who participated in various disciplines at the competition said they were thrilled by the chance they were given to showcase their talents on a competitive and prestigious platform.
Stiff competition was also witnessed in other disciplines like electric band, traditional dance and other various exhibitions among others.
This year's edition attracted high profile speakers like the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Jonathan Moyo, and Econet Wireless top executive, Douglas Mboweni.
The event was officially opened by the Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
This year's edition of Rio-Set was held under the theme "Growing the Zimbabwean Economy Through Innovations."news