Sistaz Open Mic to hold birthday bash

HARARE - Sistaz Open Mic, a platform for young women artistes to showcase their talents in song, dance, poetry and comedy and other disciplines, will celebrate its eighth birthday at the Book Café on Saturday.

The gig, which falls under Pamberi Trust’s Female Literary, Arts and Music Enterprise (Flame), has helped to unearth many talented artistes.

Several talented and rising female artistes who include Rudo Chasi, Vera Chisvo, Duchess Rose, Tendai Mavengeni, D-Blok and Ammi Jamanda will perform during the celebratory gig which is set to start at 2pm.

In line with Sistaz Open Mic’s tradition of encouraging male artistes to support young female artistes, the weekend event will feature talented Zimboita drummer Blessing Chimanga who has backed countless women artistes in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Acclaimed singer, songwriter Dudu Manhenga — who was one of the original contributors to Flame and is now a board member of Pamberi Trust — will be the hostess.

The event will be followed by the Sistaz Open Mic after-party featuring popular songstress Tariro NeGitare.

Batsirai Chigama, the Pamberi Trust Gender Project officer, has called on music fans and artistes alike to support the event.

“Come join us as we celebrate how far we have come as women in the arts. The journey continues and we have witnessed amazing talent come through the Sistaz Open Mic platform. We celebrate every artiste who has supported and made this journey wonderful,” she said.

The many success stories of the Sistaz Open Mic platform are reflected in the number of women artistes who are taking their art to a new level, organising their own shows, performing at corporate functions, touring beyond Zimbabwe, recording their work and winning numerous awards.

Hope Masike toured eight countries in the course of last year, flying the Zimbabwe flag high in solo and collaborative performances around the world from Malaysia to Iceland and China to America.

Tariro Ruzvidzo aka Tari neGitare joined the Acoustic All stars for a tour in Germany and established herself strongly on the local scene.

She was also an opening act for some of Zimbabwe’s top performers including Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits, whom she joined in Botswana at Botswana Craft and in South Africa at the Macufe Festival.

The group Amawala comprising Edith Katiji, Rute Mbangwa and Tina Watyoka came together spontaneously at a Sistaz Open Mic performance early in the year and went on to develop the lively production under the Amawala brand, performing several times in Harare and at Intwasa Festival koBulawayo to wide acclaim.

They were later invited back to Bulawayo to grace the Community Human Rights Defenders Awards night.

Another Sistaz Open Mic product Zanele “Uzah” Manhenga enjoyed her first European tour with the Bulawayo accapella group Nobuntu while elder sister and  acclaimed jazz artiste Dudu Manhenga performed once again in Italy where she captured the hearts of Italians. Other notable achievements included singer Cynthia Mare winning three Zima awards and Cindy Munyavi winning the African Music Award in Nigeria recently.

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