Home » Arts & Culture » Mash East Retains Championship

Mashonaland East province proved that it is still the traditional dance stronghold when Makarekare Dance Troop scooped the Chibuku Neshamwari traditional dance national championship title in Bulawayo over the weekend.

The Murewa-based Makarekare Dance Troop outshone nine other dance troupes in what seemed like an afternoon of intense battling. Last year Ngoma Dzepasi from the same province won the contest.

The 15-member Makarekare group showcased their brilliance in the Mbende Jerusarema dance and won $4 000.

Mashonaland Central’s Chinyakare Dance Group came second and won $3 000 while Mashonaland West that was represented by Budiriro Dance Group came third and went home $2 000 richer.

Makarekare, on the other hand, were overjoyed by their victory far from home.

“This was our first time to participate in the competition. We broke out of our former group to form this one barely a year ago and we still can’t believe that we won the provincials and now the national championships,” said an emotional member, Willard Muchakondwa.

Muchakondwa said they would use part of their prize money to buy instruments for their trade while the rest would go towards promoting their work.

The competitions that took place on the eve of the grudge clash between traditional arch-rivals Dynamos and Highlanders brought people together in a rare display of the country’s finest artistry.

Dances like muchongoyo, nyau, Dinhe and chinyambera were showcased but the mbende jerusarema was done to perfection by Makarekare.

“The dance originates from Murehwa and was derived from the practice of digging out mice, a delicacy among many local people,” said Muchakondwa.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Zimbabwe National Traditional Dancers Association president Kennedy Kachuruka applauded the sponsors, Delta Beverages courtesy of their Chibuku brand, for committing 52 years of promoting local art. The eloquent speaking traditionalist said the commitment built confidence in those who were working hard to preserve our cultural heritage.

“Delta has done wonders in promoting local culture from grassroots level,” said Kachuruka.

“They have built confidence in our culture through their support for initiatives like these. Since March this year, they have been giving royalties to dance groups that have been performing in clubs,” he said.

“The winning teams can surely go far if they are well organised. I also urge them not to split because of the prize money but organise themselves to achieve more.”

Chibuku brand manager Karen Dhliwayo said she was impressed by the level of talent that was exhibited throughout the competitions.

She pledged that her company would continue to support the arts through their partnership with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

“The dancers were outstanding and passionate. We are also pleased with the reception of the national festival in Bulawayo because this is a national product and in line with our theme for this year,” she said.

The event also saw the Chibuku Take 2 Consumer and Traders giving away over $35 000 to lucky winners from different parts of the country in a grand draw.

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