Dancers await their moment of glory

2016-01-28 06:00
 Likhwezi will be taking part in  the annual Cape Town Carnival on Saturday March 12.

Likhwezi will be taking part in the annual Cape Town Carnival on Saturday March 12.

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Since its inception in 2003, Likhwezi Arts Project has aimed to make a difference in the lives of young people around Gugulethu, Nyanga, Phillipi and Khayalitsha.

Likhwezi (which means ‘morning star’) was established by Pamela Mtati as a dancing and singing group and community service organisation.

In the past 12 years it has gone from strength to strength, producing dancers that represent South Africa in countries like China and Taiwan. They have also proudly seen some of their long-standing members study and graduate from university in Dance, Music and Drama.

The group combines song and dance from a variety of South African cultures accompanied by marimbas, drums and percussions.

They also specialise in Contemporary, Spanish, Gumboot dance and Khwela. The dancers come from a number of disadvantaged communities, but they don’t allow that to get in the way of their amazing abilities, that include a variety of talents, qualifications and experience spanning from teaching to singing and dancing.

Pamela Mtati says: “Our aim is to make a positive contribution to the community. I want to gather the kids away from the streets so that they have something better to do after school.” She adds that she would like to empower the youth to be positive facilitators and to plough back into the community. “I want them to stay away from the negative things that affect the community like drugs, early pregnancy and crime.”

The group has performed at Cape Town Carnival since 2010, as well as at several 2010 FIFA World Cup corporate events. They have also collaborated with well-known artists both nationally and internationally and performed at the Baxter and Artscape Theatres.

“We want to make youngsters aware of what the arts can offer them career wise and therefore strive to create jobs in the performing arts industry,” says Mtati.

Over the past 12 years, Likhwezi Arts Project has become a family. They have created a deep and special bond as kids stay with the group for many years.

They allow each person to grow within the project and by the time they leave, they are fully equipped and empowered to face adulthood with a positive outlook and plenty of experience.

Likhwezi Arts Project is set to perform at the seventh annual Cape Town Carnival, which will take place along the Green Point Fan Walk on Saturday, 12 March from 16h00.

For more info on Likhwezi Arts Project and the 2016 Cape Town Carnival please visit their Facebook page

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