Malaysian women from all walks of life join the global Kizomba project for International Women’s Day | The life
KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 – A total of 29 people from all walks of life will represent Team Malaysia in the upcoming global event called Ginga Flashmob as part of Europe’s World Kizomba project.
This year, more than 70 countries will participate in the global event by performing a pre-set Kizomba dance choreography which will be compiled into a video and shared online in unison.
The event is also held in conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD).
Kizomba is a family and community dance originating in Angola and derived from the Kimbudu word “Kizombada” which means to party or celebrate unity through food, drink, music and dance.
In conjunction with the global event and IWD, the Kizomba and Semba Malaysia community has partnered with Birbiz Studio and formed a team of 29 people to represent Malaysia in global video and express themselves through Kizomba dance.
According to Kizomba Fusion instructor from Birbiz Studio, Mabel Kok, the purpose of this dance is to unite people around the world through dance.
The Malaysian team will support the women’s aid organization’s Power Up project which helps build women’s economic and emotional empowerment.
They will wear a mask specially sewn by the women supported by the Power Up project.
“The team includes local and international women of different ages and a very brave gentleman. Our youngest is around 28 years old while the oldest is almost 60 years old.
“They are a mix of creative industry, IT and medical professionals. We also have a legal director, hypnotherapist, business owners, housewives.
“So it really is a wonderful, diverse group of individuals from different ethnicities and backgrounds,” Mabel said. malaysian mail.
She added that in the six weeks of training with these people, she has seen their confidence grow as they break through their own barriers and step out of their comfort zone, as this is a first time for most of them. their participants.
As each country will bring its own identity to the video, Team Malaysia chose batik as their main theme and their video was shot at Heli Lounge Bar in Kuala Lumpur facing the iconic KL Tower and KLCC.
“We wanted something that could represent us as a nation. Batik is synonymous with our culture and it’s really beautiful too.
“The reason we chose these Batik patterned pencil skirts is because we are women and we want to look feminine.
“We also had all of our hair styled to make it look clean and professional. We’re trying to achieve that little Nyonya style,” Mabel said.
Kizomba and Semba Malaysia founder Cherie Thum, who has been teaching Kizomba and Semba for more than 10 years, described Kizomba as a “down to earth” dance.
“A lot of dances from the continent of Africa today, their dance originated from their tribal dance and what makes it special is that when Africans perform their tribal dance they dance down because they believe that you have to draw energy from the earth.
“So there’s no posture that you would usually see in ballets or other ballroom dancing. They’re dancing for themselves, their tribes, rituals, weddings, funerals and all those things.
“Even when Kizomba is recognized by the world, they have always followed the original path of dancing with their posture downwards,” Cherie said.
She added that unlike other ballroom dances which have lead roles, usually led by men, Kizomba can be considered a dance of equality as there are no restrictions on who would lead the dance.
“Because Kizomba and Semba is a family dance, sometimes a mother would dance with her daughter or sometimes the uncle would dance with his niece.
“So even though they’re close to each other, the energy and the way the posture is actually non-sexual.
“That’s why women and women who lead Kizomba are good and sometimes there are also men and men who also lead,” she said.
As for Rodziah Zainudin, 56, who is taking part for the first time, joining the Ginga Flash Mob is a way for her to step out of her comfort zone and, in keeping with the theme of IDF this year, she is also looking to break down prejudice. .
“Because as a company, I have always celebrated IWD in a very corporate world.
“I’ve been to IWD conferences, trainings, mentorship circles, but it breaks my own bias to challenge myself to be able to dance and perform at this age, after 50.
“I think it really challenges my comfort zone. As lawyers, we are very careful. Dancing means you have to have a free spirit. So it’s very difficult to embrace the beauty of Kizomba,” she said.
Rodziah, Legal Director of Shell Malaysia, also said that by participating in the flash mob dance, she hopes to inspire her daughter and become a role model to break down prejudice in areas she is not comfortable with.
“I have two children, my daughter and my son. When I first told them about it, the first thing they said was, you’ve never danced before, you’re too old to dance.
“For me, it fuels the fire in my stomach even more. I wanted to prove them wrong, and I think that’s why it’s important for us to show our children that we have to be brave, regardless of age, gender or culture,” Rodziah said. .
Speaking about the progress of gender equality in Malaysia, she said that although the energy sector is still dominated by men, men can actually be the key to promoting equality.
“I still think men can help break down prejudice and have the potential to be the catalyst for people to be inclusive.
“Men can also bring the agenda to the workplace to ensure our daughters and sons have equal opportunities,” she said.
In addition to uniting women from around the world to work towards a global event, The World Kizomba Project also donates a portion of its flashmob entry fee to the charity ‘Women for Afghan Women’.
The final video will be uploaded by World Kizomba Project in early April on their social media page.