MUTARE-BASED Mbira band Deze raWasu is in need of fans’ votes as it set its eyes on the virtual Afro Pepites Show competition hosted by France.

To enter the competition, the Manicaland province Chibuku Road to Fame champions, Deze raWasu responded to a website call for the 13th edition of the competition that was open from March 1 to September 30.

The competition is open to artists across genres such as musicians, sculptors, painters, dancers, photographers, street artists and stylists, among other disciplines.

Deze raWasu were lucky to be nominated among the top 10 countries sitting at position five after they entered the competition through the song Rudo Rwangu.

A top three finish at the globally recognised music competitions will guarantee the Zimbabwe representatives a monetary reward on December 15 plus a world tour managed by a professional leader.

The band’s spokesperson Kevin Dozwa told NewsDay Life & Style that the competition encourages exchange of cultural projects centred on African imaginations or dreams.

“The voting process for the Afro Pepites Show competition is done online via a google doc and the voting link is ends on Thursday,” he noted.

“If we are voted among the top three Afro Pepites, we expect to have links with international booking agents, publishers and public relations managers.”

“If voted among the top three, this will help us to create a movement and synergies in Zimbabwe that will also benefit other artists to publish and develop their artworks to reach such markets,” Dozwa noted.

Deze raWasu faces competition from Mounpoubeyi, a Cameroonian reggae group, and Fidèle Ntoogue from the same country, South-Africa’s Jazz outfit The Cooligans as well as Nasiphi & Sthamzen representing ancestral soul genre.

Also among the participants is a house music outfit, Reine Ablaa from Ivory Coast, Maherisoa from Madagascar, photographer Bakoocly from Mali, Baldé from Republic of Guinea, and T Agnes from Burkina Faso.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Manicaland provincial arts manager, Caroline Makoni said: “Deze raWasu had become one of our perfect examples of a success story in the teaching of usage of digital spaces and I would like to urge all artists in and outside Mutare to emulate them.”

The song Rudo Rwangu appears to be doing wonders for Deze raWasu as last month the group through this song reached the finals of the Intercontinental Bienal exhibition in Latin America.