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April 30, 2015

Artists called on to be sober ambassadors

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:35 am
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By Nhau Mangirazi
MAGUNJE- Canadian based musician Tafadzwa Matamba has called on Zimbabwean artists to respect their audience by remaining sober during performance as they are ambassadors of art industry.
Speaking during the launch of a duet video collaboration with Karoi based Icon Theater Production in Magunje here; Matamba said it is imperative that any artist’s well being represent most of those in the industry.

Icon members during video shooting in Magunje photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Tafadzwa and Amy Matamba in Magunje ....photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Tafadzwa and Amy Matamba during video shooting in Magunje, Zimbabwe….Photo by Nhau Mangirazi

‘’We hope our collaboration will cement our working relationship in future. The local and international audiences take you serious when you are sober and they know that you respect them and your act will be perfect. As artists we are ambassadors of arts industry and at times we represent our countries internationally so we must be good at that.’’, said Matamba.
The two groups performed during video shooting by a Canadian filmmaker where Icon traditional dances were fused with mbira while Mbira Spirits came in with their guitars.
Matamba got Black History Month Award in February for group efforts on sharing, educating art, music, traditions and culture of Zimbabwe said he is grateful to work with the youthful group.
‘’I am happy that my dreams to educate the world on how rich the Zimbabwean culture is now a reality. The respect and tribute from Canada is well deserved and that is the main reason we are taking Icon on board as Zimbabwe culture remains original and rich. We need to preserve it’’, said the Hurungwe born artist.
Mbira Spirit are permanent residents of Vancouver Island, Canada have vision of bridging Canada and Zimbabwe communities.
They play African reggae, folk, spiritual and gospel music fused with mbira. He is also into painting besides being a culture educator.
On the hand Icon stunned theater lover during Solomonic Malawi Easter Festival where 90 groups from Malawi, Zambia and Malawi performed where they left audience asking for more.
Matamba said, ‘’The video collaboration between our groups will cement our plans for cultural exchange programs with Canada as Zimbabwean culture is still raw. We have the talent but what lacks is exposure. Icon Theater Production had international exposure and must strive to maintain better standards and do more research on traditional dances’’
He added that the video is part of long time plans to have their Canadian audience getting snippets of Zimbabwean traditional dances.
Icon specializes on mbende, chinyamusasure, Jerusarema, dinhe dances among other genres.
Group director Leo Fanwell Magada said he was humbled that their group was getting support from Mbira Spirits.
‘’We appreciate that   Mbira Spirits have shown confidence in what we are doing. We will strive to do more and put polished act whenever we are called to perform’’ said Magada.
Mbira Spirits financially assisted Icon with transport fares for the fourteen member group ahead of Malawi trip after potential funders failed to honor their pledges.
‘’Mbira Spirits assisted us when hope was lost and they have seen the potential we have and we hope to maintain good working relations in future’’ said Magada.
Amy and Tafadzwa plan to spend much of the year traveling to communities throughout Vancouver Island, other places on the west coast of Canada, making music, educating young and old to raise funds for their dream of creating twin cultural centers on Vancouver Island and Zimbabwe.
‘’Hurungwe has the potential to be cultural epicenter as is still rich and raw’’ he said.

Tafadzwa, Amy and Japhet Matamba during viedo shooting in Magunje. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Tafadzwa, Amy and Japhet Matamba during video shooting in Magunje. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Matamba believes musicians including late uncle drummer and vocalist Artwell Matamba of Hurungwe Sounds, Biggie Tembo leader of Bhundu Boys, Tendai Mupfurutsa, and Admire Kasenga of Ngosimbi Crew among others must be remembered through the centre.
They originated from Hurungwe and made it locally and internationally musically.

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April 11, 2015

Malawi Easter Festival in pictures

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:50 am
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Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi at Easter Festival Blantyre Malawi....Photo By Nhau-Mangirazi

Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi at Easter Festival Blantyre Malawi….Photo By Nhau-Mangirazi

Icon's Roberta Katurura with Tinotenda Daki on stage during Malawi Easter Fesival in Blantyre, Malawi Photo by Nhau Mangirazi

Icon’s Roberta Katurura with Tinotenda Daki on stage during Malawi Easter Fesival in Blantyre, Malawi Photo by Nhau Mangirazi

Actor Muzumala during Easter Theatre Fesival

For the record.... part of the crowd Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Festival in Malawi... Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

For the record…. part of the crowd Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Festival in Malawi… Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Easter Festival theater lovers in Malawi...... Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Easter Festival theater lovers in Malawi…… Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Japhet Matamba as part of Icon Theatre being inteviewed by a Malawian journalist during Easter Theatre Festival photo-By Nhau Mangirazi

Japhet Matamba as part of Icon Theater being interviewed by a Malawian journalist during Easter Theater Festival photo-By Nhau Mangirazi

Part of the Easter Festival in Blantyre Malawi Photo-By Nhau Mangirazi.

Part of the Easter Festival in Blantyre Malawi Photo-By Nhau Mangirazi.

Steppers in action during-Malaw Easter Festival

Steppers in action during-Malawi Easter Festival

Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Arts Festival in Blantyre

Roberta Katurira and Last Ndlovu Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Arts Festival in Blantyre

Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi

Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi

Japhet Matamba interview with a Malawian journalist while drummer James Kamhaka looks on. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

The crowd during Icon Theater show during Easter Festival..... Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

The crowd during Icon Theater show during Easter Festival….. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

City of Blantyre 2

April 6, 2015

When Malawi ex President visited Easter Festival

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 4:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Nhau Mangirazi in Blantyre Malawi

Blantyre Cultural center stage is set as red carpet is rolled out while suspected state security agencies mingle in the crowd.

All of sudden everyone looks stunned as serene environment grips the venue of Easter Festival here.

Soon after the red carpet is rolled out, a bespectacled gentleman in a grey suit, accompanied by First Lady walk on the stage, smartly dressed bodyguards behind them.

With a booming voice that vibrates the stage, locals are taken aback as the voice says it all. Former Malawi President Doctor Bakili Muluzi is now speaking publicly to Malawians.

‘’Ladies and gentlemen let me welcome you to this wonderful event. Correctly speaking I welcome you all. Lelo ndimanene kunena kuti tiyeni pamozi pachikala pachobozi. There must be love in this country. If there is no love this country will not develop my fellow countrymen abambowe. Thank you, thank you’’ he says as the crowd burst into laughter.

Muluzi was the first democratically elected president for Malawi in 1994 ending nearly a three decade rule by Kamuzu Banda.

This is a rare occasion for theater lovers here as Frank Peter Naligonje brings back those memories.

‘’My art of mimicking is about bringing memories. I admire former president Muluzi on the way he dressed as well as movement. Apart from that I am concerned about my attire to compliment everything I do for the occasion. So whatever I do I try to have the best suits, my bodyguards are well dressed during the act’’, he says.

Naligonje is an artist who is open to criticism.

‘’As an artist, I am looking forward to mimic the way American President Barrack Obama speaks and African leaders including our own President Robert Mugabe. I will try to improve during my shows’’ he says.

Naligonje is among several poets, comedians, drama actors as well as traditional dancers including Zimbabwean’s Icon Theater Production representing the country here.

Bulawayo based stand-up comedian Clive Chigubu kicked off his comics in Lilongwe on Friday before the event was switched to Blantyre 311 kilometers away.

The Malawi Easter Festival is hosted by Solominic Theater where 90 artists from Zambia, Zimbabwe and locals from remote districts are gearing themselves to showcase their talents during three days arts festival.

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