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Polyfest – African Group

Usually Polyfest is a time where all secondary schools come together sharing the stages at the Manukau Sports Bowl, sharing food and building new friendships. Unfortunately, PolyFest 2022 looked a bit different due to Covid restrictions. Crowds and food stalls were unable to go ahead, groups were only allowed on the grounds when performing and supporters were only allowed to watch via live-stream.

With only a couple months to go for the annual Polyfest our African group was formed and created. It was a very challenging time to gather together and practice with so many restrictions at school. Despite this, we all gave our best and worked together as a team to make this performance one of our best so far.

Our African group performed an energetic set based on the Diversity Stage theme of ‘Whanau’. The judges were very impressed by all the dedication and hard work which shined through on the stage. The group got 1st place in the following awards: The Africa Continent Award, Interpretation of Theme Award, Choreography Award and the Diversity Stage Champions . This was the second consecutive year where they won these awards. Here is the purpose behind their performance:

This piece is called ‘Ubuntu’, which is an African concept meaning “I am because you are.” It embraces the idea that humans cannot exist in isolation. We depend on connection, community, and caring – simply, we cannot be without each other. We wanted to acknowledge that we the children of Africa do not exist without those that came before us. We wanted to celebrate the female shoulders we stand on, our grandmothers, mothers, aunties and sisters.

African women are multidimensional so in this short piece, we wanted to highlight their strength and grace. We have incorporated a step-war dance to celebrate our female warriors that have led kingdoms for centuries while remaining graceful and full of love that keeps families together. No community can thrive without its matriarch.

Lastly, we used two African proverbs as a guide and inspiration for creative choices in this piece. ‘A woman is never old when it comes to the dance she knows’ and ‘A home without a woman is like a barn without a yam.’

The group would not have been able to achieve these amazing results without the hard work and dedication from our dance tutors Favour Ukah and Liana. These young women spent an enormous amount of time polishing and encouraging the group to be able to perform to such a high standard. A special shout out to Ms Hayes and Ms Ferguson who were the group supervisors after school.

Mr Moore acknowledged both groups’ successes by shouting them a Pizza Lunch on the following Tuesday. Thank you Mr Moore!

A huge congratulations to the groups and their tutors for their commitment and efforts that have gone towards their performances, this was shown beautifully on the PolyFest stage! If you would like to watch the group, please head to these links:

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