Divas rise to the challenge

HARARE - If the attendance of this week’s edition of City Sports Bar Monday Jam Session is anything to go by, then the year 2016 has proved to be one of the most fruitful seasons for female musicians.

Since City Sports Bar launched the weekly programme early this year, the all-divas sessions where only female musicians perform have attracted more fans compared to other sessions.

On Monday, close to 20 female musicians shared the stage until the early hours of yesterday.

These include Achihera neMbira dzeNjanja, Amanda Manyowa, Sista Flame, Nina Grande, Sista Fox, Loveness Mainato, Tete Pipilo, Steamy D, Ammi Jamanda, Jane Marimo and Simba band, Empress Tsilo, Sipiti, Lyaness, Chenai, Tabell, Indoni and Marcy among others.

Despite the bad weather experienced on the day, ladies managed to pull a good crowd.

Over the past years, female artistes played second fiddle to their male counterparts.

For example, last year there was no female artiste in the top 30 of Coca-Cola Top 50 hosted by Radio Zimbabwe and there were very few winners on the Zimdancehall awards last year.

However, this year is different in that female singers are now visible as evidenced by the current list of annual Permican Awards where two female musicians; Fungisayi Zvakavapano-Mashavave and Janet Manyowa have five nominations each ahead of their male counterparts.

The Permican Awards are scheduled for December 9 at the City Sports Centre.

City Sports Bar manager Mathias Bangure told the Daily News that the idea of hosting all-female jam sessions was inspired by the love to see women artistes flourishing.

“We will continue giving ladies a platform to shine. All the divas jam session editions have been a success.

“Women have been crying out loud that they were not being treated fairly in the showbiz industry, hence we are trying to pacify them through giving them what they are yearning for and I am happy that they have proved that they are equal to the task,” Bangure said.

“Look at the American music scene, the women are on top there and these include Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Megan among others. If women can rise up to that level, so why not our ladies, yet they have got talent too?”

Other female musicians that have graced the Divas Jam Session include Cythia Mare, Kessiah,  Beverly Sibanda aka Bev, Zoey, Edith WeUtonga and Tendai Chimombe among several others.

Leading female musicians embraced the idea saying it will elevate them.

“An all-female jam session is a very good idea as it gives opportunity and time on stage for women who are always busy with domestic chores.

“I hope people saw the talent Zimbabwe has in its women musicians,” said Zimbabwe’s own female bassist Edith WeUtonga.

Tendai Chimombe, daughter to the late music legend James had this to say: “It is a very good idea as long as artistes and fans do not make it a competition platform but instead, just embrace the idea of women coming together playing just like how fellow male artistes are doing it.

“What male artistes can do, females can also do hence women should be given a chance to perform on high profile platforms featuring internationally-acclaimed artistes,” she said.

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