Masike to perform with Naru

ZIMBABWEAN mbira princess Hope Masike and local artistes Chabvondoka — in a collaboration with Monoswezi — will back internationally acclaimed American hip-hop artiste Akua Naru in the final concert of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign programme at the Book Café on Saturday.

Report by Tinashe Sibanda Entertainment Reporter

Monoswezi is a group of artistes from Mozambique, Norway and Sweden who will perform with Naru, the headline act in the final concert, to conclude the campaign which has been running at Harare’s Book Café since November 24.

This group is a fusion of tradition, combined with influences from jazz and modern Western music. In addition to traditional music, Monoswezi performs music composed by individual band members, with a strong improvisational approach.

Their album entitled Monoswezi was released in 2010 to critical acclaim in Norway and around the world.

“Naru is an exciting new talent on the global music scene with an eclectic mix of rap, spoken word and delightful old-school beats mixed with jazz,” said Pamberi Trust spokesperson Tawanda Mudzonga.

He said Naru was a conscious poet, elegantly rhyming about the world’s imbalances and injustice in a style reminiscent of Lauryn Hill. Mudzonga went on to describe a new breed of female rapper, a warrior for conscious, hip-hop music with a gift for profound and deeply honest lyrics. He said her affinity for melding music genres had put her at the forefront of a new generation of MCs.

“When she performs, Naru steps up to the microphone with a deep, husky voice that recalls popular female emcees Bahamadia and old skool female rapping icon MC Lyte,” he added.

Chabvondoka — a Shona word which means it’s a riot — is an explosive, genre-busting, insurgent act whose music defies category. Founded by the spoken word artiste Comrade Fatso, the well-travelled band seamlessly blends sounds as diverse as rock, hip-hop, chimurenga, jiti, house and reggae.

Mudzonga said Chabvondoka had also toured extensively and performed in many countries in Europe, the US, Africa and the Indian Ocean. He said Masike was also a breathtaking musical talent whose vocal range soars into the stratosphere, undulating in sweet melodies that have moved people in Zimbabwe and all over the world, thus the collaboration would bring fireworks.

More than a talented mbira player, she is also a phenomenal vocalist, songwriter, percussionist, dancer and activist. Fans are consistently awed by her captivating stage presence. Her lilting voice and exquisite mbira-playing have earned her praise from critics and music lovers alike.

“This will be an exciting amalgamation of global musical movements, influences and artistes with local Zimbabwean flavour providing the secret ingredient to this delicious stew,” said Mudzonga.

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