Well done, Byo artistes

BULAWAYO artistes have known little joy.

They have been battered with criticism. They have been accused of adopting a crybaby attitude. They have been told straight in their faces that their creativity and talents did not match those of their counterparts from other regions.

They have been labelled as disorganised and devoid of a unity of purpose. They have been told that they are not crowd-pullers and that they lack entertainment value, hence they are rarely used as drawcards at most events.

Even organisers of huge events will do their best to bring in one of the “big names” to be an ace at events they organise despite working with local artistes.

It was not to be at African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games opening ceremony held at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

Artistes from the city and region did not disappoint. They came out creativity blazing, full of energy and oozing with awesomeness.

I know this is a sport tournament, but I thought the next day publications would be littered with praises for the artistes’ ensemble for such a wonderful presentation.

Why wait for them to drink their dignity away or sleep themselves to shame to splash them on our headlines? Let us give credit where it’s due and during that opening ceremony, local artistes made Bulawayo proud.

Those are scenes and memories our visitors will take back to their countries lingering forever. That presentation is worthy a gold medal. Well done, Bulawayo!

An old adage refers: When they do bad no one forgets, but when they do good no one even notices. Bulawayo has got talent and that fact was rubber stamped at Emagumeni at the Youth Games opening ceremony.

Bulawayo-Ensemble

Bulawayo-Ensemble

We need to unconditionally congratulate the whole arts ensemble and their producers, choreographers and technical teams. They gave Bulawayo a reason to smile and for lack of gold and diamonds to honour them with, may they be content with our praise.

Simon Mambazo, Richard Ndlovu and Brian Geza led the artistes through a historic, momentous achievement that will go down history books as one that proved the creativity, strength and diversity embedded in our culture.

If possible, I would have listed all those in and behind such a splendid performance by name. Well done Sandra Ndebele, Jeys Marabini and all those who composed the theme song for the games and, of course, the sleek dancing mascot for the games, Jumbo.

They did the city and above all the country proud. Bayethe! I am sure even President Robert Mugabe wanted to stay throughout the dazzling presentation.

I saw in the performance probably more than just what my eyes served me. The involvement of so many youthful artistes is an encouraging sign as we go into the future. We should not let down all those young people.

The average age of performers was between 18 and 30 years of age. We need to nurture that talent and provide resources for them. It’s definitely a myth that Bulawayo lacks talent. Everything except that!

Kid poet Sicocosikayise Mangena was very impressive. Bouncing with confidence, the boy had the crowd screaming for more. That boy must not be forgotten.

Let’s profile him and let’s watch him more often at local events. There is a fire in him. We have lost a lot of talent before to discouragement and despair. We need to follow up potential and nurse it.

Overall, I need to salute everybody who was behind the mass displays at the opening of the games. They already whet our appetites for the closing ceremony and we look forward to another powerful presentation.

Okuhle kuyabukwa (Excellence deserves honour).

I have, however, missed something though as the Youth Games roll on. I miss that place where our visitors can go and enjoy the rich creativity and culture we possess.

Yes, we have our lovely bars with lots of entertainment, but maybe a mini festival or cultural village probably at the City Hall car park or Amakhosi Cultural Centre could have done the trick. A sports tournament hosting different countries is opportune for cultural activity.

All countries have beautiful hotels, our visitors need to get out there and have a taste of Zimbabwe and Bulawayo in particular.
Big Brother Africa Hotshots season is done and dusted and Tanzanian Idris walked away $300 000 richer.

Honestly, mean as it may sound, I was happy the Nigerian Tayo did not nick it. I think he is full of himself and smacks of pride.

Zimbabwean contestants JJ and Butterphly missed out on the ultimate prize, but we should congratulate them for making it to the finale. They stood up to high competition and were indeed counted among the best. Keep walking.

Follow me on Twitter @NkueInnoeDube or email iyasanid@yahoo.co.uk

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