By Maxwell Sibanda
HARARE – Veteran dancer Zoey Sifelani says professional strip and pole dancing is suffering because of young girls who are forming dance groups that are prepared to strip completely naked for excited male patrons.
She said this new breed of strippers has invaded Harare night clubs and in the process pushing out professional pole dancers like her.
“They are stripping naked everywhere; in Epworth, Budiriro and the clubs there are offering them peanuts. So I have decided to showcase more outside the city where there is still some dignity.
“They have taken over because they are prepared to take off all their clothes, but I do not do that. Strip tease is meant just to arouse one’s feelings but when you remove all your clothes then the patrons’ anticipation and fantasy evaporates; it defeats the whole idea,” Zoey told the Daily News on Sunday.
She added that she got a rude awakening when she shared the stage with one such group in Kariba recently.
“They were stripping naked and inviting men for sex on stage. I will not name the group but I told them I will expose this rot once back in Harare. It was disgusting,” said the veteran dancer.
Zoey said it was disheartening that everywhere she performs patrons are now increasingly pushing for dancers to go completely naked.
“They are so used to this new crop of dancers that they end up shouting ‘bvisa, bvisa’ (remove, remove). It is sad because these new groups have destroyed our art and diluted it with nakedness,” she said.
Zoey will join the controversial Bev on Wednesday night for the highly-anticipated Samba Night set for the Private Lounge which will be headlined by girls from Brazil and Cuba.
“We are ready for the Brazilians and Cubans. Last time when we performed alongside them we did not know much about them but this time around it is a different ball game because we know how they showcase.
“I will be bringing six dancing girls, all of them new faces and we will introduce our new act: The Return of Zoey.
“I now do music and have a band. Recently, I recorded a duet single with Soul Jah Love titled Sadaka,” she said.
The veteran pole dancer said she has been forced to rope in new dancing girls because of varying reasons.
“Some of them get married, some fall pregnant while others like the ones I fired recently were into bronco,” said Zoey.
She sprang to the defence of South African socialite Zodwa who has been banned from showcasing at the ongoing Harare International Carnival by the Board of Censors.
“I would have loved to showcase alongside her. She has her own way of doing art. She has never gone naked in public; it is just the thighs you see. Her dressing is designed so that you do not see any of her privates.
“I do not understand those who do not want her to come to the carnival because she hasn’t done anything bad. She came to Bulawayo and nothing bad happened there … people were just partying.
“People look for money in different ways and this is the way she does her art. Leave her alone,” said Zoey.
Apart from her pole dancing, Zoey is into tutoring other women how to perform in bed.
“It is an art and we do it as private lessons. I receive calls a lot and I charge $10 to $20 per hour. These are just sessions for women to be flexible and know how to perform when in bed.” Daily News