Duramazwi takes mbira acts to Egyptian fest


LOCAL mbira outfit Duramazwi is set  to raise the country’s flag high at the annual Aswan International Arts and Culture festival in Egypt.

The Harare-based 12-member ensemble, led by Sarudzai “Gogo” Jaravaza, was seconded by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministry as part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness and popularise mbira, which was listed on the Representative List of World Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 2020.

At the multicultural festival that roars to life today until February 22, Duramazwi will share the stage with artistes from the host nation Egypt and seven other participating groups from Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bangladesh, Mexico and Greece.

In its stage performances, Duramazwi showcases Dinhe and Mbakumba dances as a way of safeguarding and sharing Zimbabwe’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.

In a statement, Jaravaza said they were elated to represent Zimbabwe at such an international festival, adding that they were ready to wow the audiences with polished performances of mbira acts spiced with traditional dances.

“We hope our presence at this event will also provide lessons for others, especially the youth about the importance of our culture, which also inculcates values of respect and love for each other,” she said.

Formed in 2013, Duramazwi has produced dominant hits in the local mbira circles with songs such as Chembere Dzemvura, Chinyakare Wakaendepi (2019), Toisa Maoko (2021) and their latest hit Pasi Rapinduka.

The group has extensively toured Namibia and South Africa.

Duramazwi’s showcase at the ninth edition of the festival is expected to contribute significantly to the international discourse on the use of Zimbabwe’s unique mbira instrument and cultural dances, as part of both the tangible and intangible cultural ceritage for sustainable development.

  • Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe