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Mbuya Stella Chiweshe, Zim’s music ambassador: Malunga

Life & Style
The late internationally acclaimed mbira musician, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe

AS condolences continue to pour for the late internationally acclaimed mbira musician, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe, Jenaguru Arts Centre founder and musician Clive Malunga said the songbird was a Zimbabwean cultural music ambassador and world class artiste.

Born on July 8, 1946, in Mujumi Village, Mhondoro, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe succumbed to cancer of the brain on Friday at her Kuwadzana home in Harare.

“Mbuya Stella Chiweshe was the Zimbabwe music ambassador and a world class artist, who popularised mbira, marimba, hosho nengoma across the globe as she staged performances in countries like India, German, United Kingdom and Italy. She safeguarded Zimbabwean arts and culture through her music and films,” Malunga said.

“Chiweshe was a pillar for female artists in Zimbabwe and was crowned Queen of mbira music, at Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield, Harare, and honoured with a 21-carat gold star.”

He continued: “She (Chiweshe) was the founder member of National Traditional Dance group and she worked with the likes of Sekuru Gora, Sekuru Gweshe, Sekuru Simango, Sekuru Chigamba and his daughter Irene Chigamba.”

Malunga noted that the Mbira Maestro was one of Jenaguru Music Festival founding members.

“We started Jenaguru Music Festival together with Mbuya Stella Chiweshe in 1992 and closed the curtain 2005 together as a team,” he said, adding that Chiweshe she was conferred, with an honorary degree in 2002 by University of Zimbabwe, through the Jenaguru Arts Centre initiative.

With a career spanning over 40 years, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe was a recipient of various local and international awards, including the Billboard Music Award (1993), the NAMA award (2006), the NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award (2020), and the NAMA Legends Awards (2021).

While burial arrangements will be announced in due course, mourners are gathered at Mukwesha homestead in Chinyika, Goromonzi, Mashonaland East province.

Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto

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