SAFI Theatre Troupe of Ilala District has been invited to perform at this year's Miss Tourism Beauty Pageant. President of the Miss Tourism Organisation, Gideon Chipungahelo, sent out this invitation to the group after they had impressed him with "a high level of theatrical fits", at the Arts Council (BASATA), in Dar es Salaam.
Safi, which comprises of children as young as four years of age, were given the monthly Arts Stage (Jukwaa la Sanaa) for the first time, to display what they had to offer. "Our aim for being here is firstly to give support to the government's efforts, through BASATA towards sustaining local culture and sensitising the people of its value locally and internationally.
After-all, one of the aims of Miss Tourism is to do exactly that. "So we believe our presence here will provide a big boost to other Tanzanians for them to realise the value of our culture and to dispel such belief that it is baseless, meaningless and foolishness," Chipungahelo told the 'Daily News' before leaving the grounds with the beauties on a special coach hired for the purpose.
He also said that the finals will actually be stage on the 15 of next month, at the Dar Live venue in the Mbagala outskirts, going south from the City Centre. Between now and this time, he said the Beauties will have a number of engagements to fulfil, including visiting Kilwa Ward in Coast District and a number of the national parks and game reserves within the country.
It was in this line that they visited Bagamoyo last Sunday. Their first actual staged contest, since being in camp for one month presently, is scheduled to be at the Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam on the eighth of next month. This will be when they will get another chance to display their talents in singing and dancing local traditional music of their ethnic groups.
Those present at the Arts Council on Monday got a little taste of this when the 40 participants performed together a number of dances and songs of various local ethnic groups including the famous "Sangula" from Morogoro Region. Concerning the performance given by the Safi Theatre Troupe, Chipungahelo said personally he found them very attractive because they have taken traditional music and dance pieces, and mixed them with a modern presentation to present something at an international level of quality.
He was very impressed to see how they had taken authentic circus moves and blended them in with traditional local ngoma moves, to produce a new dynamic dimension of the circus with an African touch. The only thing he felt they were lacking was exposure, so he vowed to do all his organisation can do to help them get just that.
The Arts Council's Accountant, Mrisho Mtumwa Mrisho, had the duty of representing the establishment, as moderator for the morning's proceedings. After he had finished his duties he told the 'Daily News' by the simple fact that both Safi and the Beauties are registered stakeholders of theirs, gives them the right to the Art's Stage, just like any other artistes.
This, he maintains was just part of BASATA's duties, as local art promoters, to provide the platform to these two acts, which both feature young women and girls in their full capacity, as talented and skilful artistes.