Chibuku rolls out festival calendars

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THE much anticipated, entertaining and often dramatic Chibuku music festivals roar to life this month-end in Mashonaland West.
The musical competitions have become famous for being platforms where participants get their 10-minutes-of-fame or have their lives changing forever.
The festivals, Chibuku Road to Fame and Chibuku Neshamwari have brought to the limelight talent that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Organisers have described the Chibuku Road to Fame as the country’s single largest talent identification programme in terms of scale and depth as well as exposure.
The first edition of the Chibuku Road to Fame kicks off June 7 in Masvingo and ends with the finals in Harare at Glamis Stadium on September 27.
As has become the tradition, musical heavyweights such as Sulumani Chimbetu, among others are expected to perform.
The Chibuku Neshamwari will kick off on May 31 in Mashonaland West.
Chibuku Neshamwari is the longest running arts sponsorship programme in the country and has been at the forefront of keeping the practice and art of traditional dance alive.
“The aim of such festivals is to keep local culture alive while rewarding the people who perpetuate this key generational storehouse of tradition,” the organisers, Delta Beverages, said in a statement
Founded in 1963, the Chibuku Neshamwari Festival funds and showcases the best local grassroots talent in traditional dance.
Last year’s winners were the Umkhati Theatre Works group from Bulawayo who impressed in a traditional Tswana dance called Setata.
“Chibuku exists to add to the enjoyment of life for our consumers,” Delta Beverages commercial executive, Kenneth Mapingire said.
“The programmes that we sponsor demonstrate our commitment to this objective and are part of our broader efforts to share our success with our communities.”
The Chibuku Road to Fame, established in Harare in 2001 has now been expanded into three neighbouring countries where the Chibuku brand is also available Botswana, Malawi with Zambia expected to launch the programme in the next 24 months.
Last year, the winners of the Chibuku Road to Fame were a Bindura-based outfit ‘The Way Band’ who followed in the footsteps of Terry and the Bliss, 2012 winners who broke the stranglehold of Sungura with fresh contemporary jazz-inspired sounds.
The musical showcases are conducted by the National Arts Council in partnership with the Zimbabwe National Traditional Dance Association (ZNTDA) with Delta beverages as the main sponsor.

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