RENOWNED mbira songstress Hope Masike is set to join a star-studded cast of artistes performing at this year’s edition of the highly acclaimed Mayibuye iAfrica concert at the Joburg Theatre for Africa Day celebrations this weekend in South Africa.

The mbira icon will share the stage with acclaimed  South African musicians Ringo Madlingozi, Simphiwe Dana, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Mahotella Queens and Siphokazi.

Masike’s feature at the event will include some of Dorothy Masuka’s repertoire as a tribute to the latter’s contribution to South Africa’s music landscape. This will include the Chewa and Bemba medley Chimanga, which captured Dorothy Masuka’s exile years in Zambia after she sang for Patrice Lumumba in 1961.

In a statement, Masike said she was delighted to be part of the concert, adding that it disseminated a message of unity.

“It is a grand privilege to perform in honour of Dorothy Masuka. Her music inspired many, not just in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia but further and wider afield. I am also deeply inspired by the ideology behind Mayibuye iAfrica because its message of unity must continue to be shared,” she said.

Masike added: “Mayibuye iAfrica is a beacon of unity through the beautiful universal language of music. As alluded to by James Ngcobo, artistic director of Joburg Theatre, I too am looking forward to celebrating our African heritage as passed on to us by our forefathers, embracing our diversity and honouring the indomitable spirit of Africa.”

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Mayibuye iAfrica is the brainchild of renowned guitarist, author, composer and arranger Billy Monama, whose passion for researching South Africa’s liberation history led to his desire to honour patriotic artistes who were at the forefront of the struggle for the freedom of their motherland.

This year’s event will feature two concert nights supplemented by an informative workshop featuring lectures by academics, researchers, musicians and music educators.

Masike has been a professional singer, songwriter and mbira player since 2007. Also a poet, published writer and music teacher, she has performed in numerous countries and recorded several collaborations with Afro-Nordic outfit Monoswezi and Southern African collaborative Mahube.

Masike has four studio albums to her name, with her latest offering Anotida — Hymns on Mbira released in March.

As a writer, she has four published poetry books to her credit. She sits on the boards of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Music Rights Association and Alliance Francaise de Harare.