Home » Arts & Culture » Stella Chiweshe Invades Misty’s

International mbira player Stella Rambisai Chiweshe who is back home for the holiday is expected to reconnect with her fans tonight at Misty’s in a rare one-off show at the up market club. This would be her first concert at the venue located at Newlands Shopping Centre and is scheduled to start at 7pm. Fondly and respectfully addressed as Ambuya or Auntie, she has held top ranking among mbira artistes and women artistes in particular, in an unstoppable music career which has taken her to acclaim both at home and at international stages far beyond Zimbabwe’s borders.

Previoulsy, Ambuya Stella has been a spotlighted figure at Book Cafeacute, and one of the last mbira players to perform with the late young mbira star Chiwoniso Maraire before her untimely death in 2013.

While based in Germany for many years, Ambuya Stella spends much of her time in Zimbabwe.

Ambuya Stella comes across as very warm and down to earth and someone who is easy and comfortable to talk to.

When the young Stella Chiweshe decided to become a mbira player, there was a major consternation from all those around her.

In an interview with Jennifer Byrne, she said the women were as opposed to the idea as men.

As mbira playing was entirely within male domain, Chiweshe spent a lot of her time surrounded by men, which led the women in her village to look on her as “being loose”.

But without reservation, Ambuya Chiweshe remained steadfast that what she went through, her pioneering force at that time, made her ger throughout the other areas in her life.

Certainly, she broke significant new ground for the likes of Virginia Mukwesha her daughter, Chiwoniso Maraire and the countless other female musicians in Zimbabwe today who juggle the burden of the traditional female role in society with the need to perform and be heard.

According to Byrne, the combination of mbira and marimba might seem relatively obvious nowadays, but Ambuya Chiweshe is often credited as the first artiste to actually bring the two together.

Since her first recording in 1974, she knew what she wanted to hear but could not quite grasp how to make that particular sound happen. After almost 10 years it clicked and now she uses two marimbas to recreate the sound of one mbira, similar to Dr Thomas Mapfumo’s idea of reconstructing the mbira sound on guitar.

Source : The Herald

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