Nyathi relishes duet with Chirikure

HARARE - Veteran performance poet Albert Nyathi says his joint album with celebrated fellow poet Chirikure Chirikure is meant to demonstrate the value of artistic collaboration.

The two internationally-recognised spoken word artistes, who are generally acknowledged as the pioneers of professional performance poetry, will launch their highly-anticipated joint project titled Connected at the Book Café tomorrow night.

“It feels very good and fulfilling to have finally come up with a joint album with Chirikure Chirikure,” Nyathi told the Daily News yesterday.

“We are trying to teach our people something-the value of unity; unity on an equal basis. We are making a statement to our people that we are all artistically equal.” 

With both Nyathi and Chirikure turning 52 this year, it is not surprising that the new album, which showcases the two spoken word grandmasters’ individual styles and common touch, is a toast to maturity, longevity and experience. Original and innovative poetry is expertly delivered in Shona, Ndebele and English against a backdrop of guitars, penny whistles, percussion and harmonies.

Connected-an album that features a wide range of musical flavours that pay homage to the breadth of the Zimbabwean cultural landscape — is the two veteran poets’ first ever full length collaboration. In their individual capacities, the two have produced several award-winning anthologies and audio albums but had until now never thought of combining their creative genius.

The launch of Connected is part of a week-long programme of cultural performances and cultural actions that have been lined up by the Book Café to commemorate Africa Day, under the theme “Re-linking our Communities through Culture”.

The Africa Day theme and the diverse cultural activities have been devised in support of Zimbabwe Culture Week which is being celebrated by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) and the ongoing Harare International Carnival being organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).

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