HomeStandard StyleTravelling & Touring: Pezhuba Pachena woos SA’s Limpopo province

Travelling & Touring: Pezhuba Pachena woos SA’s Limpopo province

BY Burzil Dube
THE name Luckymore Munzabwa in the coal mining town of Hwange  is synonymous with traditional theatre performances  whose trailblazing group Pezhuba Pachena’s rendition is leaving audiences clamouring for more and gradually  spreading beyond the country’s borders.

The eight-member group recently invaded the University of Limpopo in South Africa. The auditorium was filled to the brim as they entertained by guests at an Africa Day event.

Before delving into details, Yours Truly has in the past been berated for having a spot for this cultural ensemble whose musical fusion continues to take them to dizzy heights.

All sorts of brickbats and obscenities have in the past been hurled at Yours Truly as well as being accused of trying to prop up Munzabwa together with his entourage at the expense of other groups within Matabeleland North province.

However, such remarks or observations are rather trite even though they might need to be followed through as the province is endowed with various traditional groups, most of them favourites with tourists.

It would be ideal if we reserve such issues for another day in the same travelling and touring column as we take stock of such groups.

In the Limpopo province, Munzabwa and his entourage rubbed shoulders with groups from Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa, among others.

Even though the invitation came at short notice, the Pezhuba Pachena artistic director had to run around trying to assemble a formidable ensemble as some members did not have requisite travel documents.

Other female members could not make it as various ‘forms’ in terms of motherhood were at play and in the process taking its usual toll.

However, such setbacks were not a deterrent as they had to look beyond the group’s inner circle and  imported from nearby Victoria Falls city. The new members did not disappoint on their quest to lift the Zimbabwean flag high.

The legendary insumbule and isitshikitsha dances had the audience eating out  of their palms. Their songs  left the audience  clamouring for more time slots.

To the uninitiated, isitshikitsha is a Nguni dance that originated from Nguniland in South Africa and was brought to Zimbabwe by the Ndebele tribe under King Mzilikazi.

It has its roots in Matabeleland North and South provinces and is a celebratory dance, which was performed by women who would be either accompanying warriors (amabutho) to war or welcoming to them after a victory.

This particular dance has also found its way with menfolk as part of diversification while nsumbule is a Tonga/Dombe dance which is predominantly found within Hwange district. The dance is also a celebratory rendition following a good or bumper harvest even though it can also be used as some form of entertainment with colour black used in most of the attire.

Tidings coming from that other side of Limpopo are that it is a matter of time before the group makes another tour to this particular province as they are reported to have left a lasting impression.

Only time will tell as Yours Truly will certainly keep his ears to the ground as this group continues lifting Zimbabwean higher in neighbouring countries as evidenced by their South African escapade.

They once also toured Botswana and Zambia as part of regional penetration whose programme was impeded by Covid-19, which nearly brought the tourism industry to its proverbial knees.

The group is also Matabeleland North Chibuku Neshamwari competitor defending champions were yesterday battling it out to retain the accolade, which they have been holding since 2018 and the results were not yet out at the time of writing this column.

The event is being held in Victoria Falls and is being sponsored  by Delta Beverages drawing 10 contestants with winners automatically securing their places into the finals to be held at a later date in Harare.

Yours Truly and crew behind the scenes wish Pezhuba Pachena all the best in this year’s competition.

Till we meet again in the next column.

  • Comments always welcome or Twitter@DubeBurzil

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