Dangamvura Based Mbira Arts Ensemble Shines – Ntswai Ntswai Crew

Beyond imagination where music, dance and art is like food in the morning, afternoon and evening. Art is our way of living we are preserving it and spreading it to the young generation and into the future. Tswai Tswai is an unstoppable culture dance and music act that rises from Mutare’s Dangamvura Surburb whose members are a group full of energy and wide range of talented young people specializing in Mbira Marimba Ngoma Hosho Traditional and Contemporary dances, Acoustic guitar drums and craftsmanship that’s making of the traditional instruments.

                                       Ntswai Ntswai playing the Mbira (Thumb Piano)

 

The  group  was  formed  in  the  year  2000  as  a  traditional  music  performance  group, known  as  the  Ntswai  Ntswai  Crew. The  group  gained  immense  popularity  and  visibility  performing  at  almost  every  major  festival and events  in  the  province  and  the  country  at  large i.e. Road to fame, Music Crossroads, Chimanimani Arts festival, Chibuku neshamwari, Unity Galas, HIV and AIDS awareness programs by FACT, Africa University Anniversaries and Festivals, AM Zimbabwe interviews, Hotels, Solidarity Galas in Mozambique . In 2015 Getty Sabba became a consultant to Ntswai Ntswai rekindling the professional relationship with Sir Lino Piloto who was then a Lecturer at Africa University. That’s when the group  rebranded  to  Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts  in  September  2015  to  reflect  the  shift  in  ideology  and  vision. Whereas  Ntswai  Ntswai  Crew  was  limited  to  performances,  the  Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts  incorporated   musical  instruments  manufacturing  and  training  in  addition  to  performances. Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts , as  part  of  its  repackaging,  introduced  western  musical  instruments  in  their  performances  in  the  form  of  an  Acoustic  guitar  and  Saxophone. This  was  meant  to  cater   for  a  diverse  local  and  international  audience .

On  the  performance  front  the  revamped  Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts  has  scored   great  successes.  The  group  has  held  successful  shows  at  Mutare  Junior  Primary  School  to  the  school  children  which  is  very  encouraging.  The  group  travelled  to  Mthatha  in  the  Eastern  Cape South Africain March 2016  in  time  for  the  Masumpa  Cultural  Heritage  festival  held  over  the  Easter  holidays. Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts  was  invited  to  represent  Zimbabwe  at  a  festival  bringing  together  artists  from  across  the  African  continent.  The  group  did  put up a splendid performance  playing  soon  after  Mdu  Masilela  had  brought  the  house  down  with  his  Kwaito  beats.The group left the audience   clamoring for more. The  group  was  eventually  invited  to  perform  in  Soweto  at  the  Inside  Out  Jazz  Lounge  because  of  their  vibrant  act  in  the  eastern  cape.

Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts   has  held  successful  shows  in  their  home  city  of  Mutare.  The group has performed at a Musical Gala called Mutare Music Tour organized by ACDT at Meikles Park Mutare. The  group  has  been  hired  as  opening  acts  for  Jah  Prayzah   at  the  Platinum . Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts  has  also  been  engaged  as  curtain-raisers  for  Oliver  Mtukudzi  again  at  the  Platinum . So  impressed  was  Oliver  Mtukudzi  with  the  group’s  performances  that  he  committed  to  assist  the  group  in  recording  their  music.The  group   has  also  held  shows  at  the  Dangamvura  Hotel  with  great  appreciation  from  the  audiences.

To  reflect  its  flexibility  the  group  also  takes  part  at  national  events  along  other  musicians. This  has  seen  the  group  featuring   at  the  inaugural  Manicaland  Independence  gala  held  at  the  Mutare  Showground on the  17th  of  April  2016 . The  group  did  put up a splendid performance and  lived  up  to  its  pre-show  billing  as  one  of  the  main  acts  along  Hosiah  Chipanga, Mark Sounds, Juicer Mupostori.

The  group  also  performs  at  corporate  functions  as  epitomized  by  their  invitation  by  the  Youth  Initiative  for  Sustainable  Economic  Transformation (YICET)  at  their  youth  workshop. The  workshop  was  held  at  the  Mutare  museum   on  the  12th  of  August  2016  and  was  broadcast  live  on  Diamond  FM  radio  station. The  group  was  very  much  encouraged  by  the  response  from  the  audience  to  their  own  composed  music.

The  group  is  also  available  for  private  social  performances  such  as  weddings, parties, conferences. The  group  has receives a lot  of  support  from  the  audience  despite  sharing   the  stage  with  Bob  Nyabinde at one point, the crowd continued to cheer them on.

Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts  as  part  of  its  growth  strategy  has  partnered  with  Café  1  Eleven  restaurant  to  hold  shows  at  their  venue  once  a  month.  The  group  benefits  from  gate  charges  to  patrons  as  the  Café  benefits  from  sales  of  food  and  beverages  to  the  audience. So  far  one  show  has  been  held  there  in  August.

Speaking to our Kumakomo Community Radio Station on line, Linos Piloto the group founder said the Future  plans  for  the  group  is  to  record   albums  and  accompanying  videos  to  improve  the  group’s  visibility, putting up an arts center where there will be lots of arts activities i.eworkshop for making instruments, hall for shows, and theater in the park, classrooms for teaching, Mbira, marimba, dances,  acoustic guitar, drumming djembe and choral,currently we are operating from home all our activities.

The  group  is  currently  perfecting  and  performing  some  of  the  songs  on  the  album  at  its  live  shows  and  the  songs  are  well  received. The  group  also  intends  to  establish  an  arts  center  where  all  forms  of  art  will  be  taught. We also intend to work closely with schools colleges and universities for the preservation promotion and development of the arts and culture through music and dance and the visual arts.

Ntswai  Ntswai  Arts  can be followed on social media platform;

YOU TUBE, Twitter, Facebook, or their website: www.ntswaintswaiarts.com

 


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