From Gokwe to Hollywood
From the dusty rugged roads of Gokwe to Hollywood, that is the story of the St Agness pupils from Gokwe who emerged victories at a marimba competition, clinching the ticket to represent the country and the continent on the international stage at the World Champions of Performing Arts to held in the United States of America from the 6th to the 15th of this month.
The pupils were so excited as they prepared for their trip of a lifetime in Hollywood where they will carry not only the country’s pride and hope but that of the rest of the continent.
The pupils won the ticket to Hollywood after emerging victorious in the Marimba and Steelpan Festival, which was held in South Africa, and later clinched the coveted prize and top position at the Zimbabwe champions of performing arts.
Mr Gilbert Kanengoni, the music teacher who also accompanied the pupils, said his team was ready to conquer the world and carry the country’s flag high by bringing back an international award.
The band, which is made up of primary school pupils from St Agnes School, clinched the sole ticket to represent the country after outperforming 27 other groups from around the country.
The outfit, made up of Ignatius Chikotora, Givemore Mapfumo, Marshal Makwekwe, Emmerson Kanengoni, Panashe Chimaro, Farai Tichapondwa, Best Hurombo, Constance Mangwiro, Pauline Sibanda, Staice Mutero, Lostenziyasi Chapfura, Rutendo Magwaza, Belinda Deredza and Confidance Manhanda, is trained by music teacher, Gilbert Kanengoni.
Kanengoni is assisted by deputy head Jabulani Mlilwana and matron, Mary Mukondo.
Zimbabwe Championships for Performing Arts (Zicopa) co-founder and national director, Nyarayi Jessica Tandy, who is organising Team Zimbabwe, said she was happy that the quality they have will upset other competitors in the US.
“WCOPA is like the Olympics of performing arts and with the team we have, I am satisfied that we are going to upset our competitors,” she said.
“Gokwe Marimba Band participated at the Masvingo auditions and they came first in a host of entries that were selected. We are now going through preparations and fundraising to get the team to Hollywood.”
The band was formed in 2002 after the school purchased a set of marimba instruments and they have been performing at various events, which include the independence celebrations, Heroes Day celebrations and wedding events.
The ecstatic pupils however appealing for financial support from corporates so that they could have a successful jamboree. A few corporates including Innscor chipped in with support.
The 12 pupils and three teachers left for Hollywood on the 3rd of this month.