Written for The Argo by Charles Obirinanwa
On Saturday 19 February 2022, the Stockton Performing Arts Center was packed with people who had come to watch performers of the Cirque Zuma Zuma African-style cirque display their fascinating stunts, acrobatics, dances, and songs.
The African-style cirque was established by African Acrobats International Inc. It had several sell-out performances in Europe and an extended debut-run in Australia, as well as in other parts of the world. From different African countries like Burkina Faso, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Togo, and Ethiopia, the performers showcased the wonders of African culture.
The performance started with an opening dance that wowed the audience. Other presentations included the Hula Hoops, Human Pyramids, Limbo dance, Gumboot
dance, Icarian games, Chair Balancing act, Foot Juggling act, Africa Lion dance, Zuma Zuma acrobats, Pole acts, Comedy act, Zimbabwean percussionists, Hand to Hand, Contortionist act, Rolla Bolla act, Kora instrument, Tumbling, African songs, and chants.
One of the performers taught the audience a popular Swahili chant “Hakuna matata” during his
Quoting the performer, “When I say Hakuna, you shout Matata.” As expected, when he said “Hakuna,” the excited audience responded with “Matata.” If you’ve seen The Lion King, you know that Hakuna matata means ‘No worries’ and is a phrase used to lift the spirit of anyone who feels troubled or down.
The captivated audience of young and old agreed that they had never seen such a performance before, and some described it as the African-style Cirque du Soleil. An action that did not seem to surprise the performers because most people that have watched the performance have had the same opinion of the cirque in the past due to the quality of the show and dexterity of the performers.
The performers who showed so much zeal as they brought Africa to Stockton University on stage thrilled the entire audience with their performances throughout the entire 120 minutes that the show lasted. There is no doubt that the audience was exhilarated by the performance as they keenly watched the show enthusiastically from the beginning to the end.
It was definitely a nice way to spend the afternoon with family while becoming more aware of the African continent and its rich culture. The Stockton Performing Arts Center cannot be left out in sharing the glory accorded to the cirque, as the management of the Performing Arts Center was there to ensure that the event was highly organized and lived up to its expectations. The Interim Director of the Performing Arts Center, Anjantte Christy, and Interim Associate Director, Joe Heim were present to coordinate the event and they ensured that it was one to be much remembered.
The climax of the cirque was when the performers carried different African flags to get into the epic Zulu dance for their finale performance. The Cirque Zuma Zuma performance will certainly be remembered at Stockton as a day that is characterized by the celebration of the diversity of African culture.