The Umdabu Dance Company Zulu performers of South Africa sent messages of praise and honor from their country on campus last week. They began by engaging the crowd about when they said Africa was a virgin instead of what it is today.
One topic of the speech was Nelson Mandela and the triumphs South Africa experienced over apartheid. The dancers who traveled are Jomo Xulu, Issaic Xulu, Simon Xulu, Zongamele Ndubane, and Nkosinami Sthole.
While interacting with the audience, there was a sense of connection with the atmosphere in sharing the moves that glorified the most high.
The phrase “Nkosi Sikelela I Africa,” which means give thanks to those and praise for opportunity, was used constantly.
Each member shared why they came and the reason they wanted to visit the university.
” We come to represent for Africa and our country,” said Ndubane Xulu.
” I thought the dancing was amazing and that we need to incorporate some of the moves into the Orchesis Dance Company,” said sophomore Lisa Harkness.
Sthole later said stepping originated from Africa as a form of praise to God.
The stylistic movements of their ensemble were incredible and contributed to the cultural experience.
Even though the show started a little late it was worth it.
There was tons of crowd participation and smiles on faces to show appreciation of the Zulu dancers.
Before the performance that night, the dancers shared some of the moves and music with the students in the cafe.
” We cannot forget our Heroes and Sheroes who fought and died so that we may have a chance. We cannot forget them,” said Simon Xulu.
After taking pictures with the audience, the lead dancer Nkosinami Sthole let the audience know that women are a part of the creative group.
However, due to the economy, they were not able to travel but they are with us in spirit.
“We (Africans) are known as a rumble nation and the best place of mankind,” Jomo Xulu said
By the end of the night, there were tons of photos being taken because, for some, this may be their only chance of see the dancers in person.
“I’m going to show this to my mom,” said Interim President Dr. Frank Pogue.