Dance builds confidence

2019-02-19 06:00
Choreographer Mbovu Malinga during a practice.

Choreographer Mbovu Malinga during a practice.

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Choreographer Mbovu Malinga of the Cape Town Carnival is unlocking the potential power in communities throughout the Western Cape through dance.

“Many of the suburbs in the Western Cape have problems with gangsterism and drug abuse, and it’s easy for the youth in these areas to become disillusioned and drift into criminality. That’s why it’s so important for them to have a focus, something to strive towards,” said Malinga.

“Working with the Kraai4art performance group in Kraaifontein, I have seen the positive impact dance can have on the youth. Our rehearsals and discussions have built up their confidence and can be seen in their improved and energetic take on their dancing. Many children are looking for a place to feel understood, and through dance this can be done.”

Malinga grew up in Phuthaditjhaba, a township in the Free State.

“I didn’t do well at the usual sports and activities that other boys in my township enjoyed. I had to find something that I could excel in and be noticed for by my peers, and I found that in dance. I spent many afternoons and weekends at youth and church groups, and in my final year of high school I performed at the Market Theatre Foundation, where I was given a bursary to study. After graduating from the Market Theatre Laboratory in 2008 I moved to Cape Town and studied further at the Jazzart Dance Theatre.

Having experienced the role of dance in transforming my life, I knew that I wanted to use my choreography and dance skills to help improve the lives of people in my community. I wanted to be able to accomplish my bigger goal – what I can change,” he said.

“In 2014 I was given the opportunity to work with the Cape Town Carnival, and it was here that I got to positively impact performance groups throughout the Peninsula. Many of the groups are started to help get the youth off the streets and use dance to give purpose to their lives. My role at the Carnival is to meet with the many groups and help fine-tune their routines and improve their abilities so they can give their best on the event day. Having the opportunity to work with these groups that have developed their own dance routines with little or no experience is amazing, and I love to be able to give them positive feedback and direction.”

The 2019 Cape Town Carnival will take place on Saturday 16 March along the Green Point Fan Walk.

People’s Post is one of the official media partners.

The sponsors of the 2019 Cape Town Carnival are Multichoice, the City of Cape Town, the National Department of Arts and Culture, the National Lotteries Commission, Kfm, the Western Cape Government, Tsogo Sun, Media24, the Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment Agency (Wesgro), Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), Peninsula Beverages, and Gearhouse.

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