Shonhiwa: ‘Try to make the world a better place through your gift.’
A successful choreographer demonstrates a keen passion and talent for dance partnered with persistence, determination, excellent teaching, and leadership. We introduce Sylvester Shonhiwa, the Zimbabwean choreographer who is currently based in Türkiye.
Shonhiwa introduces himself by telling us why he felt in love with dancing. He further explains why, dance and choreography are viewed as a mouthpiece to express what is happening within the society. We also learn about the advantages of being an African dancer/choreographer in Turkey.
TR: Hie Sylvester Shonhiwa can you introduce yourself to Mg Afrika Magazine family?
SS: Sylvester is my name and name Shonhiwa is my family name.
I am someone who’s unpredictable in a way I can say, but I would like to say that I’m a gifted guy and someone who loves and is passionate about everything he does.
TR: What motivated you to be part of choreography and dance sector?
SS: Well I think I was born with such a gift because it didn’t start now, it started when I was a kid because I used to teach others how to dance but after a while being in the dance Industry i just kept on reminding myself that I was born this way.
TR: What has been your biggest achievement so far in your career?
SS: There’s a lot to talk about but mostly one thing I can talk about is the experience that shaped me to be able to be the person I am today “Mentally wise”.
TR: Do you believe that both dance and choreography as forms of art are reflecting the times we are living in the world?
SS: Yes it has been reflecting the times we are living already but because of lack of wisdom and knowledge that’s why it seem to be appearing as something new to people and to catch up it will take time.
TR: Not everyone is recognising dancers and choreographers as major players in the world of art what do you think is the main reason?
SS: Well according to my experience I think it depends with where you are coming from because in other continents dancers are being recognized and they’re given opportunities to showcase their talents without being limited or being taken advantage of.
TR: You relocated to Türkiye one might wonder how the arts industry is there particular the dance and choreography sector?
SS: I relocated to Türkiye as a performing artist and it was such a great experience because I got the opportunity to meet different artistes, who are into different dance cultures. It actually helped me to appreciate dance in a different perspective.
TR: As an African what are the major advantages of being an artist in Turkiye?
SS: I think being an African artist comes with different advantages I can say.
Also the fact that we have a different taste in arts industry always makes a difference especially if you have an identity and know what you can offer as an true artist.
TR: What are you major plans when it comes to 2024?
SS: My plans for 2024 is to be able to settle down and make something out of my career, something that can benefit my children even when I’m gone more like a (LEGACY).
TR: Words of advice to all African dancers in Europe?
SS: Well my word of advice is, don’t forget where you come from. You are only where you are to make a change there is a reason why you are where you are. In short just try to make the world a better place through your gift.
Sylvester Shonhiwa, also known as Bboy Sly. He started dancing at the age of 8 and has been dancing professionally for the past 7 years. His First dance crew was the 2013 Zimhiphop award winning dance crew, Hood crankers. Prior to that the crew had participated in several dance events and competitions including the JIBILIKA High School Festival, Jibilika Dance Festival, Battle of the Year (BOTY) Zimbabwe. Sly was instrumental in coordinating and facilitating Jibilika’s Award winning Step Up 2 HIV program in several schools and communities impacting thousands of young people.
Bboy Sly has featured on Ammara Brown and Tytan’s music video, #mukoko with Anti-gravity dance crew. (source Jibilika.org.zw)