Jibilika Dance Trust is a Zimbabwean based dance organisation whose sights are set beyond the known horizons with a vision of enhanced socio-cultural development within and afar. The arts company promotes the development of art mainly dances as a medium for youth development and behavioral change. Born out of a realization that Africa is pregnant with a lot of talent that can be used to sustain and develop lives.
Jibilika Dance Trust is the brainchild of Plot Mhako and was established in 2007. The main focus of the trust is to help young people to make positive life choices through dance. The programs have been focused on creating social and economic impact. Jibilika has become one of the most renowned dance groups in Zimbabwe with Plot himself being a household name.
Events and Awards
Having hosted a number of events including the African qualifier for the world Break dance championship, Battle of the Year in 2011. Apart from hosting big events, Jibilika has also won several awards including the NAMAs and Zim Hip Hop awards. Jibilika Dace Trust ha come to be known for its annual dance festival which has been held in different parts of the country.
Jibilika has been running for over the many years now, and over these years it has achieved quite a lot. The festival has run consistently and annually, exposing and promoting talent throughout the country. They have also managed to tour with groups regionally and internationally, going to different countries such as the United States of America, South Africa, Germany, and Switzerland. According to Plot Mhako, he says the experience has been empowering and inspiring. All the artists he has worked with and toured with have had a career transformation, and their scope, skills and judgement have been enhanced (and have remained highly sort after locally and abroad).
From 2009 to 2011, Jibilika hosted the Zimbabwean edition of the international breakdance championships Battle of the Year (BOTY). Jibilika has also been privileged to work with notable groups such as Magesh, Rolx, Flip Floppers, and High Definition (just to name a few). Believe it or not, they are currently working with more than 50 dance groups across Zimbabwe. Not so long ago, they launched a community centre in the capital city’s Highfield neighborhood where they offer daily programming on various Art disciplines. Some of the well known artists that have participated in the various programs offered by Jibilika include Jah Prayzah, Shinsoman, Cindy Munyavi and many more.
Career Development Programmes
Jibilika Dance Trust secured a prestigious scholarship from the US government which saw Yeukai Zinyoro travelling to the United States of America for the 2010 Cultural Visitors Program for Hip-Hop Dancers, administered by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The all expenses paid for program ran from September 30 – October 15, 2010 in New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and Washington, DC. She was to also attend the New York Hip-Hop Theatre Festival as well as the A3C Festival in Atlanta.
Social Life Awareness
Jibilika Dance Trust in partnership with PEPFAR (US Embassy) launched an HIV awareness program which used popular youth culture for engagement in 2013. The project STEP UP 2 HIV used mediums that young people are interested in outside of the classroom as the bridge to teach them about HIV / AIDS. The initiative was to empower young people with the knowledge, tools and opportunity to use their own art, media and ideas as a way to empower their voices internally, in their homes, schools, communities and in the world at large for an AIDS Free Generation.
A long time U.S. partner in the fight against the spread of HIV, Jibilika Dance Trust, hosted a special dance class to mark World AIDS Day in November 2016 with a series of dance classes for its youth audience. The first event was to be held on Wednesday November 30th at its Jibilika Dance Academy at Batanai Mall, Harare and was strictly for girls (#Strictly4Girls) with visiting Samantha Werner (Ohio, US). The event was supported by Wikipedia Zimbabwe and Girl Child Creativity Project at Batanai Gardens.
Founder and Directors
Jibilika Dance Trust founder Plot Mhako took a bow and announced that he was stepping down from his role as the projects and creative director. This announcement was made as the trust celebrated it’s 10th annivessary. Mhako handed over the mantle to 2016 National Arts Merit Awards-winning theatre practitioner and dancer, Nyaradzao Francisca Nhongonhema.