19 year old Harare-based female dancer Tanaka Machikicho is set to represent the country at this year’s Ultimate Battle Rivalskool in Paris, France, after scooping the top prize at the recently held Jibilika Dance Festival at Alliance Francaise in Harare.
Machikicho (TM) opened up to The ZimTainment’s Ronald Magweta (Zim) about her life in the dance industry and below are excerpts from the interview…
Zim: You recently became the 1st female to win the top prize at the Rivalskool Battle 2019. What does this mean for you?
TM: It really means a lot to me honestly to represent all the females in Zimbabwe, it’s a great honour to show girl power through dance.
Zim: What do you think is the reason you outclassed your competitors?
TM: I think the main reason is that I have potential as a female dancer, and I have my own style and groove from other dancers which is unique.
Zim: You will represent Zimbabwe at the Ultimate Battle Rivalskool in Paris, France. How does this make yo feel?
TM: It makes me feel excited and honoured that I get to raise our Zimbabwean flag high in Paris and I feel happy and proud of myself, especially being the first female to do that.
Zim: When you dance, there is so much flexibility, is this something natural or you have to train?
TM: It is natural, I did ballet when I was young and that is why I am still flexible up to today.
Zim: Do you think there is enough appreciation of female dancers or of dance as a profession in Zimbabwe?
TM: There is more appreciation of dance as a profession in Zimbabwe, but however it seems like female dancers are not appreciated more compared to their male counterparts.
Zim: What do you think or suggest must be done for female dancers to be appreciated?
TM: I think females should participate more in dance cyphers, battles and workshops and I suggest they put more effort in challenging the male dancers.
Zim: At what stage did you decide dance was going to be your life and how did that happen?
TM: Last year when I joined BreakNation Movement, I was inspired by other dancers such as B-boy Chris Styles and Felix Mwale, they have shown me that when you have the right people aroung you when you dance, you do not express the love of dance with your moves only, but with your heart and that is how my passion for dance grew more.
Zim: There are parents who feel being a dancer is not a serious ambition for their children. What can you say to them?
TM: All I can say is if your child really shows their passion on dancing, please support them because God has big plans for them. My parents first thought I shouldn’t dance but when I entered the dance industry, they supported me, and now I got the opportunity to go to France.
Zim: Locally and internationally, who has been your greatest insppiration when it comes to dancing?
TM: locally it hs been Lynn Mambwere and internationally it has been Lily Frias from the United States of America.
Zim: What is your word of advice to other young female dancers out there who would want to persue dance as a career?
TM: Do not be afraid and never doubt yourself because as females we have to show more confidence and attitude as we try to catch up with our male counterparts. Never change yourself, just do you, be you and stay you.