The Sunday News
Peter Matika, Senior Life Reporter
THE local arts industry is dominated by men, with only a few women being at the helm of the reigns, while most of them prefer taking a benchwarmers stance to the industry.
Over the years the industry has played witness to the rise and demise of many female groups, which faltered due to a number of reasons, with the main one being that of failing to cope with the pressures of the male-dominated industry.
In spite of all this, one all-female dance group Phakama Mfazi is seeking to turn around the industry, while also promoting women of all walks of life.
“Phakama Mfazi is a project aimed at supporting women and the girl child. It’s a platform for girls/women to express artistic freedom aspire to become professional dancers, musicians and percussionists,” said Memory Muzondo, the group’s spokesperson.
She said the group aimed at going beyond traditional and cultural stereotypes by giving girls/women opportunities to showcase their God-given abilities.
“Phakama mfazi translates as arise woman,” said Muzondo.
Phakama Mfazi is a concept that was introduced Amawumbo Dance Company in 2014.
The project seeks to give more space to women to express themselves, give career guidance and build future women leaders in the arts industry and occupy leading roles in choreography, performing arts and administration,” said Muzondo.
The group comprises 12 women and membership is open to women aged between 18 and 40. The group has so far performed at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and at other high profile events.
Phakama Mfazi is also readying for its first regional performance in Zambia on 4-10 October this year.
“As women we want to put an end to all the stereotyping and free women from the all the bondage. We want to be equal with our male counterparts,” said Muzondo.