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Sambang’oma wows with traditional dances

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Sambang’oma Dance Troupe on Thursday proved its prowess in promoting and preserving culture in the country when it treated people to a variety of traditional dances at Sounds of Malawi Acoustic Session at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.

This was the second time for the group to perform at the platform.

For close to one and half hours, Sambang’oma showcased traditional dances which included Beni, Manganje, Tchopa, Chisamba, Chitoto, Kanchoma and Sambang’oma.

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The audience was dominated by people from outside the country.

“I have enjoyed the dances and it has reminded me of the area where I come from in Egypt. There are a lot of traditional dances there too. We need to promote and preserve these traditional dances because they tell our stories and define who we are,” said an Egyptian citizen.

Host of Sounds of Malawi Acoustic Session Waliko Makhala said they decided to host Sambang’oma to offer the audience traditional dances.

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“This is one of the top and oldest traditional dance troupes in the country. The name Sambang’oma is not new for those who follow traditional dances and having been silent of late, we thought we should give them a platform,” Makhala said.

One of the oldest members of the group Eric Kangulelo, who started off with Kwacha Cultural Troupe before moving to Sambang’oma, said despite not being active of late, Sambang’oma is still intact and that it will continue to promote and preserve culture through traditional dances.

“Resources are our biggest challenge and that has kept us quiet but we are thankful for those who have kept our contacts and continue to utilise us. Through these traditional dances, we entertain and also inform because in our songs, we tackle issues affecting society,” Kangulelo said.

He bemoaned lack of support to traditional dances which he said were there to help the government promote and preserve culture.

“We have been in existence since 1987 and over the years, we have seen many groups being born but as Sambang’oma we are unique in style and being genuine and original in presenting our dances,” Kangulelo said.

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