Seychelles bids farewell to national culture icon Marietta Matombé |23 July 2021
“As long as these legs will allow me, I will continue to persevere, promote and preserve our culture, especially the dances. How can I give up when I am a child who was born, raised and breathed traditional dances,” said the late Marietta Matombé in 2017.
She passed away at her home in Anse Boileau yesterday at the age of 63.
Ms Matombé who came from the western Mahe district of Anse Boileau, was known as Madanm Kanmtole, or more affectionately by loved ones as ‘Man Ta’.
She was not only a master of our traditional dance the kanmtole but also a national kanmtole expert. She was also a talented singer.
Ms Matombé began her career as a dance instructor with the department of culture in 1998 and during her 23-year career, she kept the Seychellois traditional dance alive by giving lessons to members of the public and also trained local instructors.
Throughout her cultural journey, Ms Matombé has trained over 5,000 persons in the art of the Seychelles traditional dance and became an iconic figure in the organisation of the Creole Festival Kanmtole competitions.
Her passion for the promotion of Seychelles’ culture and traditional dance, saw Ms Matombé heading the Seychelles national cultural troupe for more than 12 years.
During her tenure as the manager of the national cultural troupe, she was able to contribute towards the promotion of Seychelles, by taking the Seychellois culture and traditional dances to various countries in Europe and Africa. Through her efforts, the department of culture was able to release the first standardisation for Seychelles’ kanmtole.
Ms Matombé was awarded the honorary arts award for her outstanding contributions to the development and promotion of traditional dances in Seychelles in 2004.
She was a caring and a cherished colleague and friend who will be sadly missed by many but will never be forgotten for her immense contribution towards the preservation and promotion of our culture. This will be especially so by those who were fortunate enough to have known her both as a friend and a colleague. She will be terribly missed by everyone at the department of culture and within the culture and the arts community of Seychelles.
The Mayor of Victoria David Andre and the department of culture express their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of Ms Matombé.
Adieu Man Ta!