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Book Café honours Chiwoniso

PAMBERI Trust and Book Café will tonight host a fundraising concert to remember and celebrate the life of the late mbira queen, Chiwoniso Maraire.

PAMBERI Trust and Book Café will tonight host a fundraising concert to remember and celebrate the life of the late mbira queen, Chiwoniso Maraire.

Report by Tinashe Sibanda

Proceeds from the event would be given to her family.

Maraire succumbed to a lung infection at the age of 37 last week and was buried on Monday in Chakohwa Village, Chimanimani.

“While co-ordination of the huge event is still ongoing, the line-up is likely to include Hope Masike, Pablo Nakappa, Ba Shupi, Josh Meck and Chikwata, Kelly Rusike and Jazz Invitation, Comrade Fatso and Chabvondoka, Outspoken and The Essence, Eyarah Mathazia, House of Stone and many more,” said the Pamberi Trust arts administrator Penny Yon.

Yon said when the news of Chiwoniso’s death rocked the arts community of Zimbabwe, they gathered at her home, played music and wept with the family as they prayed her the children.

Media frenzy ensued, overflowing with messages from all over the world of pain and loss, of memories of music and fun, of great songs that were written and others yet to come.

“On Thursday (tonight) some of Zimbabwe’s most prominent artistes will be uniting to remember and celebrate the life of their sister in a colourful musical tribute at the popular performing arts venue, which she had also considered her ‘home’ and all proceeds of the show will go to her family,” said Yon.

Chiwoniso became part of the Pamberi Trust and Book Café family many years ago.

She began with performing at the Monday Open Mic nights when the venue was still housed at Fife Avenue shopping centre.

She went on to make Tuesday nights memorable experiences for several years, and even after achieving international acclaim, she performed regularly at Book Café right up to her last performance on July 5 this year with mbira heavyweights Nyamasvisva and Mawungira eNharira.

Over the years Chiwoniso gave much of herself to the artistic community in Zimbabwe and besides music performances she participated in many discussions, including the memorable June discussion with Hope Masike and Stella Chiweshe. She facilitated workshops, represented Zimbabwe at festivals around the world, entered music collaborations and other artistic activities that have touched so many artistes.

“We pay tribute to the greatest musician of her generation, our daughter and sister Chiwoniso. She was part of us. She is remembered with love, by all at Pamberi Trust and Book Café,” said director of Book Café and Pamberi Trust said Paul Brickhill.