Comic dancer, David Machowa, popularly known as Apama, has been invited to perform at the University of Mexico’s The Pi’ Arena in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April next year.REPORT BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
The tour would be his first international performance after a tragic accident that claimed two members of his dancers in Mozambique two months ago.
The accident occurred when they were en-route to Pemba, north of Mozambique, where they were scheduled to perform at the Tambo Art Camp and the VII Festival.
The situation worsened when some of his dancers deserted him two weeks ago, leaving the group crippled. Apama has now recruited new members and the outfit is back on its feet.
The New Mexican tour will follow another international assignment in Tanzania, where the group is scheduled to perform at Sauti Za Busara Festival in February next year.
Apama seems to have finally struck the right chord after going for eight years in the arts industry without significant recognition.
“I have learnt a lesson from my recent experiences and I am now doing things differently,” said Apama. “The dancers that left did so by choice and there is nothing I can do to change it, but what is important is that the institution remains intact and life goes on.”
Apama said he was now in the process of creating and registering a trust that will oversee the affairs of the group.
“When we went to Mozambique, we struggled to raise funds and that is one of the things I want to avoid in future,” he said.
“The trust will come in handy in such instances, especially now that we have international tours that demand more professionalism.”
He said lack of proficiency cost him the dancers who deserted him, adding that their departure had nothing to do with remuneration.
“Whenever the members needed financial assistance, I forked out money to give them on top of their earnings, but they did not appreciate it. It is unfair for them to claim that they were being underpaid.”
Apama Styles School of Theatre Arts was formed eight years ago by Machowa who had a passion for comedy and dance.
His style is often likened to that of Bulawayo-based Iyasa, though he is more aggressive and creative.
The way he mimics musicians while he pretends to strum a box guitar, leaves audiences in stiches.
Apama creative and aggressive
One of his strengths is the subtlety of his content which cajoles revellers at his shows.