CROWDS go wild whenever Blue Sky Dinaka dancing group is announced at competitions or festivals.
They know the Pedi dance group will deliver the best, as they show off their moves dancing to the sound of five pipes.
The star of each performance is performer Tlhoriso Malema, who, despite having deformed legs, dances the best of them all.
Dance star Tlhoriso (23) comes from Bosehla Village in Senwabarwana, outside Polokwane.
He is one of the young members of the group from GaMalebogo that performs every Sunday in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.
Tlhoriso said he was eight when he started performing dinaka, the traditional Pedi dance for men using difference types of diphala for the special melody.
“It is my culture to do the dinaka dance. I play mamogolo wa kgomo, the fifth phala pipe from the 12 pipes that make up the whole set. I mix it with my innovative dance moves, depending on my mood and that of the crowd we perform for.”
Tlhoriso was trained by community leader Sebaila Sekgwaila.
“His love and dedication to culture and tradition inspired me to take this very seriously.”
Tlhoriso suffers from a condition called phocomelia, that left his legs deformed at birth.
“I was born this way but it has never stopped me from dancing or following my passion.
“As far as I am concerned, I am just like everybody else.”
Unemployed Tlhoriso’s big dream is to dance in a movie to display people with disabilities’ talents.
“I am also looking for a filmmaker who can follow me around wherever I perform, so that we can record this dying Pedi traditional dance.
“The youth have to preserve this custom. Our forefathers left us with the legacy. I’m the chosen one and will do all I can so the dinaka dance doesn’t die.”