Vabati VaJehovha spices up identity

GOSPEL outfit Vabati VaJehovha last week spiced a theatre play titled Identity, with a stunning performance at the inaugural three-day Dariro Creative Conference (DCC) at The Venue in Avondale, Harare.

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

The conference, hosted by creative agency iPrayLIFE, also featured Mbira dzeNharira and a brass band from The Salvation Army’s City Corps.

The play, which stresses the importance of the native culture, acknowledges God’s presence even before the arrival of colonialists and gives hope to Zimbabweans in this moment of economic meltdown.

When Vabati VaJehovha took to the stage as part of the play the audience stood in jubilation, sang along and danced.

Producer and co-director of the play Dylan Mafukidze told NewsDay Life & Style on the side-lines of the event that they roped music groups from different religious backgrounds to promote creativity.

“In the beginning God created everything. That is the attribute we put ahead of everything else. We were celebrating creativity, our culture and identity, and we gave the best we can. Bringing in music groups illustrates creativity and how God works with everything,” he said.

“When the play mirrors the current economic situation, the intention behind it is to give hope. If God had been with our ancestors, with us in trying times, he is definitely in control of the situation and will bring hope.”

The US-based director, who co-directed the play with Sithabile Makambane, said the conference was meant to illustrate how God had been part of the Zimbabwean culture were before the coming of white colonialists.

“The play (Identity) is about a chief who tells a story on how God has always been a part of our culture. He feels the need to remind the new generation on how the customs and beliefs of Zimbabweans are the key to the country’s prosperity. He uses history, dance, music and poetry to tell his story,” she said.

“Culture is the framework in which our identities are built. Fortunately, Zimbabwe is a nation with a rich heritage and history. However, with the modernisation of society over the years, there has been little understanding and appreciation of culture and identity.

“Having realised the dire effect of a dying culture on the identities of today’s youth iPrayLife is launched the first Dariro Creative Conference (DCC) in Harare, Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, gospel singer Kudakwashe Mutsvene also unveiled his latest music video Mweya Mutsvene directed by Slimaz Pro before the play was staged.

“I was inspired to write the song by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was going to heaven he said I will leave you with the Holy Spirit. So many gospel musicians forget that and after all it’s the soul mediator. The situation we are in needs the Holy Spirit to comfort us. That’s all we need,” he said.

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