Sistaz Open Mic back at Book Café

HARARE - Recently opened Book Café has more musical programmes to offer fans previously disappointed by its closure.

Sistaz Open Mic is among popular acts and activities that were missed by patrons but is now back.  

The event is meant for upcoming and established female artists that wish to express themselves.

It will resume this Saturday (September 8) and it will take place monthly at the Book Café every second Saturday of each month.

The monthly Sistaz Open Mic afternoon was established under Flame (Female Literary Arts and Music Enterprise), a project by Pamberi Trust.

Sistaz Open Mic offers a family and friendly environment where mothers can come along with their children.
Organisers of the event said in a statement, “Many have found their feet or voice on this platform as it is a free space where women come together in the safety of daytime and be artistic.”

Over the five years since inception Sistaz Open Mic has witnessed many success stories of women artists who have come out of their shell to share their art with the world.

 It has largely become a scouting ground for corporate and civic organisations who seek to engage young and upcoming women artists in their programming.

Nancy ‘‘Blackheat’’ Mkondyo, a spoken word artist who now fronts the band Blackheat was a popular feature at the Book Café event. She will be making a return with a performance that will fuse poetry with mbira and other traditional sounds.

This month’s guests include guitarist Tariro Chaniwa-Ruzvidzo of the famous Acoustic Nights, Tariro neGitare and poet Momo Bluez Size.

Uzanele Manhenga hit single Ninje  that is currently rocking the airwaves will participate.

Along with performance and promotional opportunities, Flame runs a series of workshops for established and emerging women artists.

These are titled “Workshops for Women Artists by Women Artists” in which experienced professional women artists tackle key issues in the industry with emerging women artists.

Topics usually include stagecraft, professionalism and discipline, roles in the band, understanding the PA system, copyright issues, publicity and the Internet, and open discussion on HIV/Aids focussing on social responsibility of the song-writer or performer.

Book Café and it’s twin venue, Mannenberg were forced to relocate at the end of last year.

This followed a decision by owners of Harare’s Fife Avenue Mall, former Book Café venue, OK Zimbabwe Pension Fund and its agents Old Mutual Property Investments, to serve notice to the arts centre.

The closure of Book Café and Mannenberg dealt a blow to the promotion of Zimbabwe’s arts and it reopened this year at a new venue in central Harare.

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