South Africa is a land of diverse cultures, rich in heritage and history. Embracing the diversity of South Africa is AmaQhawe Zulu Dance. A dance group from Madadeni which showcases local talent, while teaching youngsters important life lessons.
“The group initially began back in 1992. But due to financial constraints, it eventually collapsed. I then moved to Durban for a few years, before moving back and restarting the group in 2003,” says Dumisani ‘Madumani’ Kunene.
Spearheading the dance group, Dumisani explains that upon restarting the group, he focused solely on dance.
“I am a cultural man, so it was all about dancing at first. Teaching children in my neighbourhood in Section 7, Madadeni.”
Training children from disadvantaged families, Dumisani realised that a sense of culture entailed more than dancing. “As a cultural individual, I am also teaching youngsters in the correct way to behave with others. I also encourage children to refrain from alcohol, drugs and crime, as this will all impact their lives negatively.”
Through his charismatic work, Dumisani registered AmaQhawe Zulu Dance as a non-profit organisation. Determined to mould young lives.
While the group faces the same financial difficulties as it did in 1992, Dumisani explains the dance group is stronger than before.
“We are fortunate to have sponsors, such as the manageress of Theku Plaza in Osizweni.
Since starting the group up again and under Dumisani’s guidance, AmaQhawe Zulu Dance is making a name for itself in various competitions.
“We have taken part in two competitions this year. The one competition was an arts and culture event in Utrecht, while the other was in Madadeni. We took first place in both events.”
The dance group has also competed twice at a cultural competition in Zululand. “We won first place in both 2015 and 2017.”
The group has also taken part in a competition at uShaka Marine World, clinching a position among the top five.
As the group develops and creates a name for itself, Dumisani says that while he takes immense pride in the fact that he is Zulu, he feels South Africans can learn a lot from each other’s cultures. Therefore, his group has also learned a number of Sotho and Tswana dances.
“I am always willing to learn about other people’s cultures. I am also a firm believer that if we can learn from each other, we can overcome so many of today’s issues and the issues of the past.”
With his sights set on the future of the AmaQhawe Zulu Dance group, Dumisani and his dancers are sure to bring a sense of immense pride to Madadeni and Newcastle.