24 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Apama Off to Mozambique

Apama Style School of Theatre Art (Assota), popularly known as Apama Dance Group, has been invited to participate at the Tambo Art Camp and the VII Festival in Mozambique next month. The festival will run from July 16 to 22 in Pemba, north of Mozambique.

An invitation letter from a group, Associacao Cultural Tambo Tambulani Tambo dated June 8 2012, says Assota was invited as recognition for Zimbabwe's art diversity.

"Zimbabwean art has a lot to offer and the participation of Assota will surely promote a lot deeper understanding of the Zimbabwean art to the audience in Pemba, to the participants coming to the art camp from outside Pemba and Mozambique as well as to Mozambique through the media visiting the art camp and festival," reads part of the letter.

However, the invitation does not cover transport expenses. Assota is appealing to well-wishers for financial assistance.

Speaking in an interview last week, Apama, whose real name is David Machowa, said they needed at least US$6 000 for the trip.

"So far we have managed to secure just less than US$1 000, which is far less that what is required," he said. "This is our first foreign tour and we really want to prove a point and represent the country to the fullest. That means we need to revamp our costume and many other basics."

He said the group was busy rehearsing for the trip and they had created new acts to make sure they present a polished act.

Who is Assota dance group?

Assota is a 15-member group that was formed by Machowa eight years ago. The group has performed in bars and is one of the oldest existing dance and theatre ensembles among the current crop.

Their unique presentation and fusion of theatre, music and dance has been likened to Bulawayo-based Iyasa, whose prowess has over the years reached magnificent heights.

The group however, seems to lack proper management structures, something that Machowa conceded.

"You see I managed to perform at Hifa, which I feel is the biggest platform in Zimbabwe, if not even beyond our borders and I owe all that to my new management," said Machowa. "I now have a very good team and advisors so I am happy all is now smoother than before."

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