Local traditional dance ensemble Ezimnyama are working on a collaboration with Matabeleland South’s Bolamba Arts in a dance play called African Rituals which is set to open this year’s Intwasa Arts Festival.
The opening ceremony of the prestigious festival will be on 24 September at the Bulawayo Theatre.
African Rituals is a dance play which is about different African traditions and rituals. The piece is crafted in a manner that excavates different rites of passage practised in a black African society from the ceremonies of birth, marriage to death.
Phibion Ncube, who is the founder and director of Ezimnyama revealed that they decided to collaborate with Bolamba as a way of exchanging different cultural ideas as well as a way of creating a bond with the Gwanda ensemble.
“What made us to collaborate with Bolamba is the spirit and zeal to share ideas and exchange our cultures because they (Bolamba) are from Gwanda and we are from Bulawayo.
“Working together in such a project will cement our relations with them and it will equip artistes from both the ensembles with knowledge of different cultures that are found in Zimbabwe and how different rites are practised depending on a culture and ethnicity,” said Ncube.
When two heavyweights combine a great performance is expected and as such Mthabisi Dube who is the director of Bolamba Arts revealed that fans must expect the best out of their unique piece.
“Our fans should expect a breathtaking dance play as it is the first of its kind, it has a lot of surprises, so we urge fans to come in numbers to witness a marvel production we will display,” said Dube.
Meanwhile, this year’s edition of Intwasa has attracted international acts including South Africa’s comedians Trevor Gumbi and Khanyisa Bunu who are set to perform at “The Big Night of Comedy” show alongside Clive Chigubhu on 27 September at the Bulawayo Theatre.
One of the organisers of Intwasa, Nkululeko Nkala, said despite facing financial challenges, they made sure that this years’ edition was bigger and better.
“Intwasa has become a culture in Bulawayo. Therefore, no matter the different obstacles including finance, the festival must come to life.
“I am happy that this year we have managed to break national boundaries as we have attracted performers from South Africa including Trevor Gumbi. Gwanda and Plumtree are also represented in the festival,” said Nkala.
The 15th edition of Intwasa will run from 24 to 29 September.
It runs under the theme “Spring Fever”.