Nhongonhema spells out vision for Jibilika

JIBILIKA Dance Trust’s new boss Nyaradzo Francisca Nhongonhema has said she is eager to grow the organisation’s brand so that it transcends African borders.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO, NewsDay, Zimbabwe, March 27, 2017

Nhongonhema, who took over the creative director role after founder-cum-artistic director Plot Mhako, is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Zimbabwe and a certificate in physical theatre from Dell’Arte International in California, the United States.

She said she believed in using the arts and pop culture as a tool of positively influencing young people’s lives.

“Jibilika Dance Trust is a big organisation and my role is not an easy task, but I am determined and passion-driven to make an impact at Jibilika and to play an important role in the arts as an agent for change in societies recognisable and appreciated,” she said.

“My vision is to see Jibilika breaking into the international scene. Locally, I hope to steer Jibilika to reach the marginalised areas that have not been explored before as a way of identifying and uplifting talent from the grassroots level.”

Nhongonhema, who will be assisted by another dancer and choreographer Blessing Fire (also known as Bboy Christyles), said her dream is to see Jibilika empowering the dancers in using dance as a storytelling medium.

Born and raised in Bikita, Nhongonhema has featured in a number of stage acts, including the award-winning productions Liberation and Pub Stories, Tumaini, and Chimbwido Girl of War and she has directed plays that include Todini, Protect Us and The Adaptation of Chery Orchard.

She has been involved in a number of youth programmes such as the Students’ Ambassador for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and was part of the initiation of Jibilika’s award-winning Step Up 2 HIV programme in 2013.

She has also worked with Rooftop Promotions, Savanna Trust, Patsime, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Kenako Media and the University of Zimbabwe theatre arts department.

During her stint as a beauty model, she won Miss Top Model and Miss Personality at Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2010.