Umdumo Wesizwe, Siyaya shine overseas

GLOBETROTTING Bulawayo-based imbube outfits Umdumo Wesizwe and Siyaya are shinning overseas.

REPORT BY SINDISO DUBE

Last week the groups left audiences asking for more when they jointly performed on Tuesday at The Cluny in Newcastle, United Kingdom, as part of an effort to raise funds for Green projects.

Among the crowd was councillor David Faulkner who expressed joy in the performances he witnessed.

“Everyone who was there would be grateful for the chance to see such wonderful performers from Zimbabwe. The harmonies and the breadth of songs of Umdumo Wesizwe were staggering, while the versatility and dynamism of Siyaya Arts was a joy and both acts have had such a great engagement with their audiences. They should come back soon,” he said.

Panganai Svotwa, chairperson of the Climate Change Community Champions (4Cs), organisers of the show, marvelled at the performances.

“We are privileged to work with such talent from our motherland. Such shows are important to Diaspora communities, as music can create powerful connections between people, help us learn about different cultures, shatter stereotypes, question social injustices and inspire us to create a sustainable world,” Svotwe said.

The 4Cs is a charity based in the UK which seeks to educate the community on environmentally responsible and ethical living.

The performances also marked the end of the successful one-week summer school project with Jack Drum Arts, an organisation which works with young people and uses arts to change lives, empower young people and give them a window to the world through culture.

Helen Ward from Jack Drum Arts thanked the two performers for touching their lives through music and dance.

“The performers from Siyaya came into our lives for one week only and in that short space of time they changed the lives of 25 children and young people.

“Siyaya and Umdumo Wesizwe have demonstrated that arts can be used to change lives and they have done this through their amazing energy, passion and skills.”

UK media also gave praise to Zimbabwean performers as Helen Browns of the Northern Echo newspaper described the performances as, “colourful, passionate, climactic and bursting at the seams with energy, the Zimbabwean song, dance and drum troupe Siyaya, which means ‘on the move’, is a veritable tour dé force of traditional and contemporary African music,”

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