Arts hub affords artists platform

HARARE - Harare new arts hub, Red Cafe has become home to several performing artists as it majors on most artistic genres from poetry, theatre, musicals, launches and book reading.

The cafe is more than a drinking hole; it is a free expression platform meant to nurture artists.

Situated along Harare Street in the capital, Red Cafe opened its doors to the public early this year and instantly became a hit with artists.

The Biggie Chinoperekwei-run joint is a hive of activity throughout the week, with the venue hosting all sorts of arts-related events from Monday to Sunday.

“The idea is to promote artists from different genres. We have bought a public address system which is being used by different artists to rehearse during the day. They give each other a chance and it is for free.

“We are happy that artists have also embraced the joint as their home,” Chinoperekwei said.

On Mondays, the Red Cafe hosts “Poetry Mondays” a platform meant to hone artistic skills of both upcoming and established poets.

“We want to prove that poetry is an alternative and equal entertainment service. Poetry being an audible means of communication and entertainment, we feel it should get more platforms just like any other arts genres. On Mondays, we try to match musicians with poets just to spice up entertainment for our people.

“As Red Cafe, we are taking the stride in offering poets the opportunity to showcase and make a living out of their God-given talents. We have renowned and successful poets in the country and this is proof that one can earn a living out of it provided one gets adequate support like what we are offering here,” the joint manager,  Freddy Nyakudanga, said.

“On a weekly basis, we try to mix budding poets and established ones so as to expose the upcoming artists to the mainstream platforms.

“Apart from mixing the upcoming and seasoned artists, we also invite stakeholders of poetry including the consumers of poetry, radio personnel, government departments, nongovernmental organisations, advertising agencies and the corporate world on rotational basis depending on the theme of the event on that particular day.”

In terms of music, the joint hosts several concerts from Tuesdays to Sundays.

“Some came as normal music concerts where live music will be played while at times stakeholders in music industry gather to listen to the new studio album or song and review it.

“This helps the composer of the music to learn a thing or two about his music. This is a new concept meant to develop our music,” Nyakudanga said.

This week, the joint hosted Mel B and The Code band on Wednesday.

On the same night, stakeholders were reviewing Phillip WekwaChipfumo and Spirits of Africa’s latest studio album Mudonzvo Wenzimbe.

On Friday, the joint hosted rising musician Mbeu and his Mhodzi Tribe before hosting reggae music outfit Transit Crew on Saturday.

On Sundays, the joint routinely hosts mbira concerts with regular performer being Hwesa Masango and his Zim Totems.

“This is a way to promote mbira music and encourage families to come and enjoy together on Sundays.

“There are those who believe in African Traditional Religion. You will be surprised that they are many out there and they are being starved,” Nyakudanga said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.