Travelling & Touring: Pezhuba Pachena Conquers Zambia

Pezhuba Pachena
Pezhuba Pachena

By Burzil Dube

Whoever coined the word “invasion” deserves some form of special accolade as this is usually synonymous with military excursions or gruelling fights of some sort.

Recent world tidings are all about the war pitting Ukraine against Russia, which has been described in some military circles as ‘invasion’ by the latter while others have discribed it as encroachment, storming and special military operation,  among other terms.

All these terms are universally acknowledged and applied in a war situation with the ultimate winner being accorded all necessary accolades.

Another type of “inavasion”  has  also taken the arts and entertainment industry by storm, which of late is  gradually emerging from a deep slumber.

And this time around, the gods continue to smile at Pezhuba Pachena Cultural Ensemble, an award winning 10-member group that, three weeks ago, invaded the tourist town of Livingstone, Zambia for the Livingstone International Arts and Cultural Festival.

The event was held at Maramba Cultural Village. And they did invade and conquer in a blitzkrieg move!

To the uninitiated, Pezhuba Pachena is a multi-disciplined traditional cultural dance group based in Matabeleland North Province whose dancing theatrics include nsumbule, isitshikitsha, mbakumba and setapa (Botswana dance), among others.

Last year the group encroached into Limpopo Province in South Africa during Africa Day celebrations where they left an idelible mark at an event held at the University of Limpopo. The event was also graced by artistes from neighbouring countries where the group showcased their artistic skills.

Their escapade was organised by a Hwange businessman whose mission is to promote the country’s cultural diversity through traditional dance, among other related activities.

Despite being invited at the grand event at short notice, Pezhuba Pachena did not disappoint, and left the audience clamouring for more.

Enter the Livingstone internstional festival where they were also invited at short notice and as per their tradition, they  lived up to the billing as the province’s hot property in terms of showcasing traditional dances.

The event was held from April  6 to 7 this year.

The group was invited to this grand event courtesy of Moody Prince Mwiya, a Livingstone-based theatre cultural expert and choreographer.

He also promotes an organisation called Pan-Africanism Culture and Heritage in Africa.

In a recent interview with Yours Truly, the veteran choreographer, said he came to know about Pezhuba Pachena about two years ago during online traditional dancing submissions.

It was during an online traditional dance event organised by the  Zambia Traditional Dancers Asoociation( Zatrada) where Pezhuba Pachena was “discovered” following submissions by its artistic director Lucky Munzabwa.

“He had to explain a little bit concerning his group, but we were earlier on connected to this group by Petros Ndlovu of Shangano Arts Festival.

“We gave Pezhuba Pachena a platform to participate so that we promote the Pan-Africanism culture, tourism and heritage. They gave a splendid performance and the dance they presented is common among the Ngonis, which was unique and different from other groups.

“It being a special cultural group that we hosted here in Livingstone at Maramba Cultural Village and am sure many stakeholders were impressed because of their vigorous and courageous acts as well as the strength that we saw during their presentations  that was so unique,” said Mwiya, who was also part of the organising committee.

He went on to state that his organisation will certainly invite them to future events as their strength on the stage was mesmerising. Zambia is host to various international artistic festivals.

More than 15 cultural groups attended the event where Mwila played a pivotal role in coordinating participation. The event   was also attended by senior Zambia government officials.

Kudos to Mwiya, who immediately added Yours Truly to various tourism and cultural social media chat groups such as Maramba Culture Forum, Zatrada Main Platform, Think Big Experts2-Thicos, among others.

Back home, Mangaliso Ndlovu, the hard working minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry once provided Yours Truly with contacts of individuals at Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to be added or included on tourism-related  social media groups.

However, it is all in vain even to this day despite several enquiries, which is somehow proving to be a wild goose chase.

Need I say more?

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