By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large
HARARE, Zimbabwe – Harare’s Book Café in collaboration with Mbiravolution will be hold an Artists Voices Discussion on Wednesday focussed on female mbira players. The discussion will focus on the role that female mbira players have played in advancing mbira in Zimbabwe.
Speakers for the discussion will be legendary mbira songbird and icon Chiwoniso Maraire, Theresa Muteta a young female mbira player, music educator and researcher, Hector Rufaro Mugani an ethnomusicologist and Chikwata.263 mbira player while other discussants are lined up.
The discussion will be moderated by Extra-Blessings Kuchera a musicologist and arts administrator. All respected and experienced professionals with a good knowledge of mbira and the arts. Other female mbira players like Hope Masike (currently on a world tour), Onai Mtizva (currently in Namibia) are going to send their presentations on their experiences as female mbira players.
Many people have misconceptions about the emergence of female mbira players and therefore their importance is diminished. One thing for sure is that women were denied the opportunity to play the mbira even if they had a passion for it. This also applies to other traditional instruments which were mainly male dominated.
Many women now play the mbira on local, regional and international platforms where they showcase their work. Names such as Stella Chiweshe, Beular Dyoko, Patience Chaitezvi, Chiwoniso Maraire, and Hope Masike among others have made significant strides in this respect.
Extra–Blessings Kuchera, Pamberi Trust Communications Projects officer who is organizing the discussion said “The discussion will highlight the significance of the mbira instrument and music in Zimbabwe and beyond. It will mainly focus on the emergence of female mbira players and their immense contribution to the development of mbira instrument and music, the music industry and the Zimbabwean community. We should continue to encourage such positive development.”
The discussion comes when many Zimbabweans are celebrating September as the mbira month an initiative by the mbira centre, to celebrate and raise appreciation of the mbira.