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Dikamawoko Arts keeps traditional dances alive

Austin carries a mortar with his mouth

Dikamawoko Arts returned to the stage on Saturday afternoon offering, a dish of traditional dances at Kwa Haraba Art Gallery and Café in Blantyre.

This was their first performance this year and they put up a brave act that entertained the sizeable audience.

Their performance kept the audience on its toes as they journeyed with them, dishing out, among others, Vimbuza and Malipenga from the Northern Region, Chisamba and Kazukuta from the Central Region and Beni from the Southern Region.

It turned out to be a better stage for some parents, who brought their children to appreciate traditional dances which are part of the country’s rich culture.

There were moments when some people even took time to join Dikamawoko Arts in some of the traditional dances which they were familiar with.

It was an outdoor event but later it was pushed indoor due to rains at some point.

It was rather a challenge for Dikamawoko to perform indoors as the dance floor was too small but they had no choice.

Despite this setback, Dikamawoko Arts did not compromise on their performance and they killed it off with Vimbuza, a healing dance popular among the Tumbuka people.

Led by Thenson Austin, the group sparked with Vimbuza, with Austin playing the healer.

There was a moment when, during the healing process, Austin played with fire, which looked like magic.

“It’s not magic, these are just the skills I learnt and we normally trained hard to give people the best. Every time we hold traditional dances we want to give people the best,” Austin said.

As if this was not enough, Austin also stunned the audience when he used his mouth to lift a mortar as he danced energetically.

There was also an acrobatics performance from Strong Boys which also impressed the audience.

“We need such outings. I am impressed with the performance of Dikamawoko Arts. It is the first time for me to watch them but I have enjoyed,” a fan, Elizabeth Tambula, said.

Austin said their plans are to continue staging the traditional dances in different places, their other target being primary and secondary schools.

“We are doing this to remind people that Malawi has rich traditional dances which are part of our culture. With technology, these traditional dances are being forgotten and the young generation will miss out. This is why we want more performances in primary and secondary schools,” he said.

Austin said that, through their performances, they want to reach out to everyone.

“We, as a group, come from different districts so we share ideas on different traditional dances and we are still learning other traditional dances,” he said.

Austin called upon Malawians to strive to promote its culture.

“Every country is known by its culture and, so, we appeal to parents to take time to patronise these performances with their children,” he said, adding, that they also use traditional dances to disseminate different messages.

Coordinator of the event, Blessings Hiwa, said they came up with the activity due to public demand.

“We will continue doing so and our target is to hold such performances every month as we indicated last time,” Hiwa said.

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