Imvelo set for Nyanga Arts Festival

Langalakhe Mabena

NEWLY-FORMED cultural group Imvelo will have a platform to showcase their traditional rich set of music, poetry at the Nyanga Arts Festival.

In its third year, the festival — an initiative by Nhimbe Trust will be held at Montclair Hotel and Casino and Maereka Primary School in Manicaland Province from 17 to 19 October.

The Nyanga Arts Festival seeks to enhance the tourism and leisure industry in Nyanga by amplifying its eco-friendliness through arts, culture and heritage.

Imvelo (nature) will display a unique performance that recalls the wisdom of ages, which springs to life ancient traditional Ndebele songs and dances, brought into the current day with deeper messages resonating with the global call to action on climate change.

The production is a collaboration of established artistes of Bulawayo who have a long history of excellence and acclaim in the arena of traditional African and World music.

Creatives who are part of Imvelo including Prince Nleya (bass), Mehluli Dube (percussion), Shekinah Ndlovu (guitar), Erastus Nleya (drums), Nesbert Qongo (saxophone) and Jacob Ngorima (keys).

Other artistes who are part of the Imvelo project include Prince Joel Nyoni (keys), Thandy Dhlana (lead vocals and dance), Charles Banda (lead vocals and dance), Laura Ngwenya (vocals), Dorcas Ngwenya (vocals and dance), Cheryl Mabaya (vocals and dance), Lyndah Sithole (vocals and dance) and Brilliant Sithole (vocals and dance).

The director of the festival, Josh Nyapimbi said it was important for Zimbabweans to understand other cultures that are found in the entire region. He said this inspired them to rope in Imvelo to grace this year’s festivities for the Nyanga community and tourists to appreciate the Ndebele music and culture.

“Imvelo will provide a fun-filled performance that has never been experienced before at Nyanga Arts Festival. As the organisers, we have gained a deeper understanding of the local needs and expectations regarding festival programming.

“We have also assessed our own capabilities and those of our partners, ensuring that we can deliver high-quality programming that meets the community’s expectations,” said Nyapimbi.

As Imvelo first staged their project in Nkayi, Matabeleland North, at the Dakamela Achievers Awards, Chief Mbusi Dakamela will travel with Imvelo as he was invited to officially launch the festival.

“The festival will be graced by traditional leaders, including Chief Dakamela who will launch the event. His entourage will perform traditional praise poetry, adding to the rich cultural heritage of the occasion. Additionally, they will actively participate in the subsequent programme, further enriching the festival experience. Apart from celebrating the arts, artistic collaborations and cultural exchanges, the festival will provide a platform for enhancing environmental awareness within the Nyanga community,” said Nyapimbi.

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