Chikwata 263 rocks jam session

HARARE - Mbira punk rock band Chikwata 263 made a rare appearance at City Sports Bar’s weekly Monday Jam Session where they thrilled revellers with their upbeat tunes.

Led by talented guitarist Thomas Brickhill, son to the late Paul Brickhill, Chikwata 263 comprises youthful and energetic players; Hector Mugani (mbira), Blessing Chimanga (drums) and Ray Mupfumire (bass).

Brickhill — a white guy —surprised many in the audience as he sang most of the songs in fluent Shona. While on stage he always communicated with the audience in Shona.

The group which used to be a regular performer at Harare’s defunct Book Café, usually performs at festivals, hence its rare appearance at City Sports Bar.

On Monday, the quartet roped in yesteryear Zimdancehall artiste Potato on one of their songs and he did justice as he roared through with echoing chants that delighted the crowds.

Netherlands-based mbira player Vimbai Zimuto was the crowd’s favourite as she performed several sing-along tunes which had the crowd on its feet.

Equally impressive was Switzerland-based Queen Marshie who commandeered the stage with so much ease while also playing some beautiful mbira music.

Other music acts that performed on the night include the talented Ammara Brown, Solo Utachi, Princo Spice, Levus Matamba, Master Kasenga, Hotta Fyah,  Chirandu and Buhle.

As always Talking Guitars provided most of the backing while other bands brought their own backing groups.

Loveness Mainato, the founder of Albino Charity Organisation of Zimbabwe (Alcoz), a pressure group meant to push for demands and needs of people living with albinism in society, also showcased on the night.

She said she is into music to fundraise money to help people living with albinism as the majority of them are not employed in formal sectors.

The Alcoz band has two albums under their name Ziva Wokuudza 1 and 2.

The founder of the group was inspired to establish the project after giving birth to two children living with albinism, a development that reportedly made her husband divorce her because of the skin condition of the children.

“The main purpose of the band is to spread awareness to the society about albinos. Music is the fastest and effective way of spreading the message.

“Society still needs to come to terms with albinism,” she said.

The society keeps on segregating albinos and as a way of challenging this, she formed the organisation and later a musical group comprising of albinos.

Albinism is a defect of melanin production that results in little or no colour (pigment) in the skin, hair and eyes of a person.

Apart from Alcoz, City Sports Bar has previously hosted Daniel Gonora, a former Jairos Jiri band member who is blind and regularly performs on the streets of Harare.

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