Fitting honour for Rebel Woman

HARARE - A Chiwoniso Maraire tribute concert without the spontaneity and verve that was abundant on Thursday night at the Book Café would have been out of sync with the late mbira star’s legacy.

The well-attended concert and the induction of Chiwoniso into the Book Café Hall of Fame, was indeed in keeping with the calibre of the artiste who was invariably called Rebel Woman or Doctor Danger before she passed away last year aged 37.

Several artistes, backed by the Vibe Culture, Chiwoniso’s former backing band, performed renditions of the late mbira legend’s songs. Fittingly, the night’s proceedings involved poet Chirikure Chirikure who wrote several of Chiwoniso’s hit songs including Ivai Nesu Mwari Baba.

Chirikure, who also did several collaborations with the late mbira artiste, did a hilarious poem called Kanyanisa that had the crowd in stitches. He recited the poem to the backdrop of the song Nguva Yekufara that was ably sung by Chiwoniso’s ex-backing vocalist, Rumbidzai Tavaziva.

The other highlight of the night was the performance of Chiwoniso’s song Rebel Woman by Chikwata 263’s Thomas Brickhill and Tavaziva. Brickhill’s rock guitar added a surreal touch to the song that left the hundreds that attended the show spellbound.

There were also riveting renditions of Chiwoniso’s songs from Victor Kunonga, Edith Weutonga, Eve Kawadza, Comrade Fatso, Bashupi, Junior Bantan and Mawungira eNharira’s Nyamasvisva.

Though they were not on the programme, hot love birds Roki and Ammara Brown added colour on the evening by continually joining all the musicians who came on stage. The two looked very comfortable in each other’s company as they danced with abandon on the stage.

Interestingly, Roki and Ammara’s antics on the stage reminded many of Chiwoniso herself. The Rebel Woman singer was known for going on stage uninvited whenever she attended a Book Café concert.


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