This weekend just had a rush of its own. I swear bungee jumping has nothing on the arts industry when it’s at it best.
It started on Friday, I could have been up and about campaigning or better yet watching the World Cup. I chose to go to the first Eziko Theatre Laboratory in a while.
As I got in the topic was Bulawayo Mafia, in actual fact Desire Moyo who was some sort of moderator acknowledged my presence as one of the Mafia after I sat.
I was disgusted to say the least at some of the testimonies by some of the attendees on the day who continue to push the mafia issue with no back up in terms of information (seasoned artistes for that matter).
I was also equally pleased with responses from the likes of Jeys Marabini, Future Dube, Kuda Takundwa and Madlela Skhobokhobo to name a few. Not that I applaud them because they clear “us” but because one need not ask for permission but has to stand up and work. At present it seems anyone that works hard in the arts is termed mafia. Anyway this mafia talk is tired.
On Saturday there was no way I could have missed The Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Competitions. The fete was moved from Manor Hotel, the traditional base, to Phekiwe Beer Garden in Nkulumane 12. I know many who will agree with me that showcase has brought us many memories. Who can forget Umkhathi Theatre works and Ezimnyama going all the way to the finals and winning in Harare and Bulawayo respectively?
Sad to say though that the competition is now a pale shadow of itself. It used to be the “IT” event, attracting the “who is who” of traditional dance. Even us the audience would be excited about it.
The announcement of results would silence the whole arena and be the talk of town for weeks. The provincial finals were won by Khaya Arts who will go on to represent the City in Mutare this August at the finals.
Be that as it may that the competition was moved to the locations I am guessing more should be done in terms of marketing this prestigious event.
Also the organisers should deliberately try to interest the likes of Umkhathi, Hloseni, Abangane and Siyaya to be part of this event for its value. How do we have just six competing groups?
On the same evening, there was the big one in the City of Kings. Sarah Mpofu-Sibanda and crew hosted Miss Tourism Bulawayo and boy, oh boy was it amazing! I have heard on many occasions that so and so stole a show.
I witnessed it for the first time. Babongile Sikhonjwa is the Greatest of ALL Time (GOAT). He set the house on fire and from when he grabbed the mic, it was up and up. We really had fun.
The models themselves came to the party with amazing performances. I am sure by now you all possibly know that the event was packed to the brim. I am talking about a paying audience which paid between $10 — $20.
So if some events can sell out like this, what do our music and theatre need? My thoughts? We need collaborated efforts and variety shows.
We do have an audience. Until next week, be safe… @nkuenkala 0772214373