Bluez Café to be launched on Africa Day

HARARE - Bluez CAFÉ, a creative space being created by Nhimbe Trust to cater for the needs of diverse arts disciplines in Bulawayo, will be launched on May 25.

The arts venue, which is modelled around the defunct Book Café, seeks to provide a creative space for arts disciplines such as music, spoken word, literary arts, visual arts, fine arts, film, drama, dance and crafts.

Last week Nhimbe Trust, led by its director Josh Nyapimbi, hosted a consultative roundtable discussion attended by 60 Bulawayo-based artists which discussed issues pertaining to the arts space being built at the Youth Contact Centre located at 98A Lobengula Street.

The artistes welcomed the arts hub which is being spearheaded by Ian White and Penny Yon, former Pamberi Trust workers who closely with the Book Café before it closed shop in 2015.

Thomeki Dube, the co-leader of internationally-acclaimed imbube group, Black Umfolosi, said the creation of Bluez Café was long overdue.

“It is quite a strategic place for the arts, and comes at the right time, when such spaces are needed the most,” said the veteran musician.

Beit Bridge International Festival of Arts (Bifa) founder Nkululeko Nkala-one of the organisers of the Bulawayo Jam Sessions- concurred with Dube.

“We need something like this in Bulawayo; we don’t have that space,” he said.

Intwasa Festival’s Raisedon Baya said the soon-to-be-launched Bluez Café should have programmes every day of the week.

“It should be a place where, if you want to know what’s happening on any day, you can come here and find something. A place like this is necessary,” said Baya, who is also an award-winning playwright.

Nobuntu’s Duduzile Sibanda and Zanele Manhenga both gave their nod to the initiative with the former pushing for Bluez Café to accommodate Imbube while Zanele, sister to celebrated jazz songbird Dudu Manhenga, described it “as a dream comes true for us.”

In a previous interview, Nhimbe Trust and Bluez Café director Nyapimbi, said they would consider the views of Bulawayo-based artists.

“The task at hand is to consult with Bulawayo artists and cultural workers to chart the path we should take to realise a vital creative space for artists and audiences of Bulawayo,” Nyapimbi said.

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