LOCAL female dancer, Tanaka Machikicho is set to represent the country at this year’s Ultimate Battle Rivalskool in Paris, France, after winning the Zimbabwe qualifier of the Jibilika Dance Festival at Alliance Franchise in Harare on Saturday.


Machikicho, who beat other dancers, both male and female, made history by becoming the first female winner in a competition that has been male-dominated.

For her efforts, Machikicho pocketed $800 plus the all-paid trip to Paris, while Rayaaz Nanhanga and break-dancer Felix Mwale settled for second and third places, respectively.

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style after the show, Machikicho, who last competed at the same competition in 2017, said she was thrilled to have finally won the competition on her second trial, adding that she was honoured to be representing female dancers at an international stage.

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“It feels incredible and it’s an honour to represent all the female dancers in Zimbabwe, showing that we can do it too. We can move to the beat too and we are not afraid to showcase our amazing talent through music,” she said.

Machikicho said she was confident that she will bring the trophy back home.

“I am very confident and I am ready to train harder to represent Zimbabwe and win. I will only compete in the female’s category in Paris,” she said.

The dancer said she has had the privilege to battle on different stages, both locally and beyond the borders.

“I am grateful that I have had the chance to showcase my talent at a number of platforms. In 2018, I was in a dance group named 4Go10Tribe crew, which was under Jibilika and we competed at Dreamstar and came second, becoming the first dance crew to be in top three,” she said.

“I have also been to Zambia and South Africa and this year, we have started a movement called BreakNation and we competed in AfroJoy dance competition where we came tops.”

The Ultimate Battle Rivalskool is an international battle dedicated to schools and crews. The competition that started in 2008, is based on the association of freestyle dance and steps game on an exclusively hip-hop musical background.

This year’s edition attracted more female participants under the Strictly4Girls programme established to reach out to the girl child.