A DECADE OF EXCELLENCE . . . The birth and rise of Ezimnyama dance group

01 Sep, 2019 - 00:09 0 Views
A DECADE OF EXCELLENCE . . . The birth and rise of Ezimnyama dance group Ezimnyama Dance Group

Mthabisi Tshuma, Sunday Life Correspondent

EVERY decade needs its own manual handicraft and it seems the award winning dance group Ezimnyama are living testimony that their prescription for the ten years there in the industry is surely working.

Founded in 2009 by Bulawayo ghetto born young artistes led by Phibion Ncube, the dance ensemble has raised questions on whether are they the next “super” Iyasa.

Like their predecessors — multi-award winning Iyasa who shot to fame after featuring in Chase Skuza’s hit song and video Banolila, Ezimnyama won the hearts of many with their polished act and popular Setapa dance.

The dance has seen them land a historical mark by being one of the groups to clinch the Chibuku Neshamwari dance competitions winner’s trophy twice in a space of two years.

As Liberty Hyde Bailey says, “a garden requires patient labour and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfil good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them,” this is the case of the dedicated Ezimnyama dance ensemble who have fought against all odds to stay on the top.

Speaking to Sunday Life, the Matshobane suburb founded dance outfit said it is their wish to become one of the most successful dance groups in the country’s history of success.

Rehearsing three times a week, being part of the group has led other members to view it as a day to day job.

“Our major aim is to be the best ensemble in terms of preserving African traditions especially through music and dance and to also teach the young generation so as our culture is not lost.

“The young artistes who form up the group are dedication and through this we hope to grow bigger,” said the group’s director Ncube.

To be a champion, one has to see the big picture. It’s not about winning and losing; it’s about everyday hard work and about thriving on a challenge. It’s about embracing the pain that you’ll experience at the end of a race and not being afraid.

The 13-member group has followed the mantra with spirit and managed to stay put even though at times many wanted to throw down the towel.

“We have in the past faced a lot of challenges and at some point I almost gave up but the passion among the artistes kept me going.

“It was very difficult to convince people to love our work because they used to laugh at us about what we are doing but we did not allow any distractions and continued with our focus,” says Ncube.

Ranging from 18 years, the dance outfit has incorporated students to its group who join them during holidays so as not to affect their study schedule.

In 2017 driven by a passion to take traditional dance and music to the rest of Southern Africa, Ezimnyama Dance Ensemble worked on a production that matched international standards and opened doors for them.

Titled, “I am an African”, the production premièred at the Bulawayo Theatre before it was taken to other parts of the country and then the Sadc region namely Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
2017 became one of their memorable years as they were invited to perform at a festival in Egypt soon after winning the Chibuku Neshamwari national finals held at White City Stadium.

For celebrating the decade long career, Ezimnyama dance group will invite arts practitioners from Spain set to grace the country to market the group internationally.

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