Ben Arinoti to represent Mashonaland West in Chibuku neShamwari Festival

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Writes Chimeno Azriel

Muriel Mine-based Ben Arinoti won the ticket to represent Mashonaland West during the Provincial Chibuku neShamwari Festival held at Gatsi Beer Garden in Chegutu last Saturday.

Nine traditional groups showcased their talents in fighting for the sole ticket to represent the province and the 13-member ensemble, Muriel Mine-based group put up a polished act and came up top and got away with the first prize money ahead of Chabvondoka Nyau Stars who dance Zambian Nyau and Mhondoro Dzemucheka Stars who came up second and third respectively.

Chibuku neShamwari Festival is celebrating its 60th anniversary running under the theme BIRA REMADHZI, 60 years Sithokozisa Ngezomgido!’.   Various provinces came up with competitions of choosing the sole group to represent their provinces and Mashonaland West did the same. Despite losing last year, the Muriel group managed to clinch the top spot beating stiff competition from other contenders. The finals are scheduled to take place on the 29th of July in Harare.

This year’s provincials saw various groups performing with Nyau groups toping 5 groups performing, Mbira group, the traditional dance group, and the female group Chegutu Chimtali putting the icing on the cake.

Speaking to this publication, the Director of Zimbabwe National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (ZNAC), Mr Nicholas Moyo, said he was humbled to notice that the communities appreciate the culture and he hailed the competitiveness on the basis of the uniqueness of the dances in the provinces.

“I have noticed that each and every province has its unique dances and cultures and on top of that, I am appealing to the organisers of the province to work with the winning team and come up with the strong team,” said Moyo.

During the sidelines of the festival, the President of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Dances Association ( ZNTDA), Mr Kennedy Kachuruka said the Mashonaland West competition was a success as there were more dances in Malawi Nyau, Zambian Nyau, and the women outfit Chimtali showing the different cultures in the province.

“This year’s Mash West competition was a success and we saw different cultures being showcased. We have seen Nyau dances from Malawi and Zambia and the women outfit Chimtali and that shows that the cultural dances are increasing,” said Kachuruka.

The winning team’s leader, Mr Washington Washen said they were happy to win the coveted prize and he said that it came in a fashionable style and they are confident that they are going to win this year’s National Competitions.

” I would like to thank our members for the teamwork. We worked hard for us to win this competition and we are confident that we are going to win this year’s National Competitions,” said Washen.

Chibuku Breweries works closely with its partners, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), and Zimbabwe National Traditional Dances Association (ZNTDA) in promoting and developing the arts and culture in the communities.