© 2017 Julia Chigamba and the Chinyakare Ensemble.  All rights reserved.

Kanukai Chigamba started dancing at a young age with her family in Harare, Zimbabwe. She learned to dance at biras, all night ceremonies, where she would watch older dancers and learn their moves. Soon, she started dancing with her aunt’s group, the Mhembero Dance Troupe, performing traditional Zimbabwean dance at weddings and local clubs until 2010 when she moved to Oakland, CA. In Oakland, she continued dancing with her family in the group Chinyakare Ensemble, performing traditional Zimbabwean dance around the country. She has performed at events such as the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Zimfest, Monterey Bay Reggaefest, and the Africa Day Celebration in Washington DC. Kanukai met some of her closest friends through these dance events, and she began to collaborate with other dancers to learn other styles such as Congolese, West African, Pantsula, and Kwaito. Kanukai believes dance is a wonderful way to learn to communicate, share cultures, and make new friends, and wants to share what she’s learned with others.