Katomeni, Masike to star in human rights concert

HARARE - Jazz star Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and mbira princess Hope Masike will headline the 2014 Human Rights Day concert set for the Book Café on Wednesday night.

The two celebrated performers will share the stage with emerging singer Ruvimbo “Raven” Mapanda in the final concert lined up by arts organisation Pamberi Trust and the Female Literary, Arts and Music Enterprise (Flame) to mark 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

Katomeni-Mbofana, a renowned musician, actor and mother of four, is delighted to be part of such a high-profile concert.

“It is very important for us to participate in such commemorations and to make our voices heard on behalf of those who don’t have a voice, or don’t have a chance to voice their concerns,” said the acclaimed performing and recording artiste.

Mbira star Masike, who is currently on a business trip in Malaysia, has emphasised the importance of the commemorative gig.

“Rights are things we are allowed to do, to be or to have, by mere virtue of being human,” said the well-travelled mbira artiste.

“Much as they are all equally important, I would like to talk about the right to participate in the cultural life of a community, the right to art, science and learning.

“I love this one not only because it covers my field, but also because our culture as a people or even as individuals is important and sets us apart from others.”

The Mapfunde singer added that Zimbabwe must jealously guard its cultural heritage.

“Let us utilise this right by feeding our minds with as much art and culture as we can.

“I know of places where music is not allowed. Let us not deny our children their culture because of backward colonial mindsets,” she said.

“There is a lot of wealth in the cultural heritage left for us. Let us all not watch while the true Zimbabwean/African Ubuntu values die down.

“We have the right to it, all of it. If we fail to realise this, others will utilise it because they also have the right to it.”

Music rookie Raven is confident that the Human Rights Day concert will turn out to be the highlight of her fledgling music career.

“I feel honoured to grace such a special occasion, where we have the chance to express ourselves about rights and freedoms.

“To take away a woman’s freedom of choice — even her freedom to make a wrong choice — is to manipulate her as though she were a puppet and not a person,” said Raven who recently featured on a yet-to-be-released compilation CD for the special women’s edition of the magazine POVO with other Zimbabwean women.

 

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