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April 4, 2015

Icon stun theatre lovers in Malawi

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 8:03 pm
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Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Arts Festival in BlantyreBy Nhau Mangirazi in Blantyre, Malawi
Karoi based Icon Theater Production left a mark during the ongoing Solomonic Easter Arts Festival when they performed in first international arts fiesta here on Saturday afternoon.
The thirteen member group formed in 2007 specializes in traditional dance including dinhe, chinyamusasure, mbakumba, mbende, Jerusarema among others fused with mbira.
They left the audience asking for more when they put a polished act with their dancers.
Icon theatre is a youthful side led by Leo Funwell Magada and had the backing of elders during their tour that included Japhet Matamba, Felix Svova and Bigboy Kagande on mbira while James Kamhaka was on drums.
Part of the crowd was taken aback following the slow rhythms of Chipembere song before the dancers Nomsa Beremauro, Juliet Mashayanyika, Roberta Katurira and Julia Moffat came to give a superb act during Chemutengure song.
Later on Danny Bwanya, Last Mapiye and Tinotenda Daki came as they performed during Jerusarema act.
Local Floor Steppers warmed up the crowd before drama by Chango Traveling Theater who performed Tax Abortion play that highlights how international companies evade paying taxes while exploiting on the poor African countries.
The sarcastically play exposes how investors milk poor African nations where the politically connected benefit while the majority suffers.
Solominic Peacock director MacArthur Matukuta said he was happy that the local audience had shown confidence in regional festival.
The festival kicked off in Lilongwe on Friday before it was switched to Blantyre where it will run till Monday
‘’I am happy that regional integration must not be political but arts is a form of employment for us all. The performance by several groups from Zimbabwe, Zambia and many parts of Malawi is an indication that we can do more to preserve our culture and traditional values’’ said Matukuta.
Magada said he is happy that they performed to an international audience.

‘’Traditional dance and mbira is part of Zimbabwean culture and identity. We are happy that we are making strides to market Zimbabwean traditional act to the outside world’’ said Magada.
At least 90 traditional groups, poets, comedians from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe will battle it out during the three day fiesta.

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