Tafadzwa Zimoyo Arts Reporter
Mbira music is a complex and cyclical genre, full of texture and overlapping rhythms. When listening closely, it has the potential to be profoundly meditative music. Mbira music in Zimbabwe is sometimes regarded for the “ancestors” or those who are much more into our cultural hertage.
With this in mind, recently opened entertainment joint, The Volt, is reviving the popular Mbira Nights that used to take place at the same venue before it rebranded.
The Mbira Nights take place every Friday and demand has been rising for the past two weeks at the Volt Platinum garden area.
The night is being hosted by Mawungira eNharira led by Wilfred “Nyamasvisva” MaAfrika.
In an interview with this reporter, one of the founders of The Volt, Spencer Madziya said our culture is important and should be preserved well.
“While the society and music are steeped in tradition, both are open to variation, newness, and change. Mbira is one of the most traditional music genres that exist, but it still relies heavily on variation and change. We chose to revive the Mbira Nights because somehow we definitely need the cultural aspect in our entertainment lifestyle. It is being hosted out in the gardens and it doesn’t disturb the club activities,” he said.
Mbira has been a source of not only entertainment but spiritual inspiration as well.
“I can say the night has brought different races to understand our way of living culturally. Mawungira eNharira take their time to explain meaning of their songs to the multi-racial crowds, taking them on a journey to understand and fully participate,” he said.
Madziya said just like the norm, they are preparing to host the bira of thanksgiving.
“The rains have come and we thank everyone that prayed for them. It is our Shona custom to host a bira before and after the rains, thanking the heavens for giving us the rains. We are hosting the Bira Remukwerera which will see the biggest revival of traditional music, with renowned artistes, diplomats and business people among others taking part. It is good to see people dancing and being united by the cultural dances,” he said.
“We also understand that arts and culture has a wider, more measurable impact on our economy, health and well-being. It’s important that we also recognise this impact to help people think of our arts and culture for what they are,” he said.