Lovemore Meya Arts Correspondent
Pakare Paye Arts Centre will today reverberate to music and dance when Zimbabwe’s internationally renowned mbira artiste Ambuya Stella Chiweshe headlines a show dubbed “Zimbabwean Cultural Fiesta”.
Ambuya Stella shares the stage with popular mbira ensemble, Mbira Dzenharira, and the emerging youthful group called Were.
The cultural fiesta is being held to mark Africa Day in advance, under the theme “Re-linking Communities through Culture”.
Pamberi Trust creative director Paul Brickhill said: “The theme itself has really important issues at stake. Arts output nationally have become heavily concentrated in Harare (where so many artists have migrated).
“A kind of cultural fragmentation has occurred, and it is now more difficult and less common for bands and music to truly emerge from small centres and make it big nationally as Devera Ngwena once did (from Gaths Mine, Mashava).”
Brickhill said there was a need to rebuild cultural assets outside Harare where there are such rich and vital intangible cultural asset.
“This is about cultural decentralisation, cultural inclusivity and re-linking diverse communities through culture” he said.
For long, Chiweshe has held top ranking among mbira artists across gender in an unstoppable music journey which has taken her to acclaim both at home and to international stages far beyond Zimbabwe’s boarders.
While based in Germany for many years, Ambuya Stella had been visiting each year to perform and participate in the arts.
In the last three years she has been a regular act at the Book Café where the patrons had the honour to see her performing alongside the other major mbira guru, Chiwoniso Maraire before her untimely death in 2013.
Mbira Dzenharira another big name in the genre are also set to perform.
Pakare Paye Arts Centre was founded by Oliver Mtukudzi in 2003 for the purposes of developing and nurturing young talent in various practical artistic endeavours, particularly music, dance, drama, poetry and storytelling.