Feared by many, the Gule Wamkulu dancers of Zimbabwe are sometimes described as a secretive and ritualistic society.
The detrimental picture goes hand in hand with a popularity for violence, one thing that the organiser of the primary Gule Wamkulu competition in Harare needs to alter.
“We’re celebrating our ancestors who introduced the tradition from Malawi however have since handed on. Take a look at my age, I’m younger. What pains me is that folks see our tradition as belonging to individuals who cannot suppose and usually are not educated”, mentioned competition organiser, Discover Mazura.
The society’s popularity has been tarnished in Zimbabwe as a result of proliferation of copycat teams that commit crimes similar to extortion, theft, sexual abuse and assault.
“These persons are evil. They transfer round with weapons and are violent criminals. In the event that they meet somebody they do not like, they often assault them”, denounced Mufakose township resident, George Desha.
The chief of the Gule Wamkulu group claims it’s obligatory to differentiate between the real practitioners and copycat dancers.
“The looks of Gule Wamukulu and typically the behaviour of the Nyau dancers are those that make individuals assume and suppose that they might be violent, or they have different issues hooked up to it. Some even connect Gule Wamukulu with witchcraft, which isn’t it, that is not it. However, after all, individuals from Gule Wamukulu Nyau dance know a whole lot of medicines (conventional medicines, Ed.) identical to the others”, mentioned Kennedy Kachuruka, chief of the Gule Wamkulu Group.
The origins of this dance might be traced again to the seventeenth century and the Chewa individuals spanning the nations of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia in southern Africa.