Nobuntu lightens Amagugu festival

Nobuntu lightens Amagugu festival
Published: 13 August 2017 (775 Views)
OBABES Bembube, better known as Nobuntu, rocked the stage at this year's Amagugu festival that was held at the Amagugu International heritage Centre in Matopo last week.

The Amagugu organised Matopo festival held under the theme; "Enhancing Awareness of Indigenous Cultural Heritage", was the first of its kind and will be held every year as a means of developing the Matopo community using dance, art and tourism.

Amagugu programme's officer Butholezwe Nyathi said what was unique about the festival was that they mixed contemporary music genres with the traditional forms, something which was previously unheard of especially in a rural setting.

"As you saw for yourself we had tribal house outfit, Djembe Monks, Imbube all ladies group Nobuntu, contemporary dance group Iyasa, drumming group, Drums of Peace and Impumelelo Shining Stars who are your traditional dance group.

"It was a mixed bag of entertainment and what excited us is that you even saw your grannies dancing to music by Djembe Monks. As this was our inaugural edition of the festival, we were especially encouraged by the support we got from the community," said Nyathi.

He said during the festival they were able to educate students from various schools and tertiary institutions on various traditional ways of living, further conscientising them on the need to uphold cultural values.

"Students from Dominican Convent and Emganwini Secondary schools were taught traditional ways of milking cows. The way in which elders drank beer and the way in which students reacted to the lessons, they really enjoyed, themselves," he said.

At the closing ceremony of the festival, held at the Amagugu Cultural Centre, 60 kilometres from Bulawayo, the all-female dance ensemble, Nobuntu were by far the crow favourites, with their melodious rhythms which embraced both culture and tradition.

Their last song Impi won people's hearts as it urged people to stand up and fight to prevent traditional and culture from extinction.

As if to ascertain their dominance in the imbube genre, the award winning ladies put up a well-polished performance when the venue was shifted to the top of the Matopo hills which provided a clear view of the Njelele Shrine.

The performance received a standing ovation with other people joining them on stage.

The Imbube Queens also danced to the Djembe Monks hits which kept people on their feet.

Nobuntu said it was a dream come true to perform at Amagugu Festival because it brought them closer to where they originated.

"We have been touring a lot especially in countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, thus it's always a pleasure being back home and performing in front of people who raised us," said a group member.

The Sunduza group was also the centre of attraction as they sang South African's Bhiza hit Gobisiqolo cover and Tshabalala Rhythms' Canaan cover.

The festival managed to showcase the cultural heritage of Matopo people which includes traditional dances, court simulation, folktales, storytelling, craft exhibitions, mountain climbing, nature walks, village walks, eco fashion exhibition and braai on the rocks.

People had the chance to visit the custodian of the Njelele shrine which created an opportunity for them to interact with the keeper of the shrine who defined and described the symbolism of every feature of the Njelele shrine.

On top of the Matopo hills attendants had a chance to enjoy braai meat which was prepared of make shift braai stands mainly made up of rocks, which the organisers dubbed; "Braai on the Rocks".

The next event at Amagugu will be the Festive Season Cultural Retreat on 16 December which targets people from across Zimbabwe and abroad who will be on holiday.

- SundayNews

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