Book Café tackles mbira

HARARE - Mbira, the ancient musical instrument that has been in use for over 800 years, will come up for discussion today at the Book Café.

Popular musician, mbira player and actor Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana will be part of a panel of distinguished music personalities who will examine the perceptions of mbira in Zimbabwean culture.

The other speakers who will lead the discussion are Wilfred Maafrika Nyamasvisva of Mawungira Enharira, hip-hop music producer Begotten Sun, ethnomusicologist Hector Mugani and Japanese mbira player Sumi.

Mbira, which was declared along with dances such as Jerusarema, Mbende and Jikinya by the United Nations Cultural Scientific Educational Organisation (Unesco) as an integral part of Zimbabwe’s Intangible Heritage, will be discussed under the theme “Mbira music/instrument as part of Zimbabwe’s cultural heritage.”

Renowned mbira players who include Thomas Mapfumo, the late Dumisani Maraire, the late Ephat Mujuru, Forward Kwenda, Stella Chiweshe, Chartwell Dutiro, Beauler Dyoko and Cosmas Magaya have done a lot to popularise the instrument and yet some Zimbabweans have still not embraced it.

Mbira has, however, gained acceptance in different religious, social, traditional and commercial settings around the world.

The argument that it is more appreciated outside Zimbabwe has been vindicated by the ever-increasing number of mbira makers all over the world, mbira festivals, music lectures and foreign visits by different Zimbabwean mbira bands. - Entertainment Writer

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