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Calls for hero status for ‘Mbira Queen’ Mbuya Chiweshe – Newsday

Stella Rambisai Chiweshe

A DARK cloud hung over Zimbabwe yesterday following the death of popular mbira music queen, Stella Rambisai Chiweshe, popularly known as Mbuya Chiweshe.

The internationally-renowned mbira musician was born on July 8, 1946, in Mujumi Village in Mhondoro.

She succumbed to cancer of the brain yesterday morning at her Kuwadzana home in Harare. She was 77.

As condolence messages continued to pour in, some voices across the arts spectrum such as Jenaguru Arts Centre founder and musician Clive Malunga began lobbying for the late Chiweshe to be accorded national hero status for her contribution to the arts industry.

Malunga described Chiweshe as an upholder of Zimbabwean culture through her music and films.

“Mbuya Chiweshe was the Zimbabwe music ambassador and world class artiste, who popularised mbira, marimba, hosho nengoma across the globe. One of Jenaguru Music Festival founding members, Mbuya Chiweshe was a strong pillar for women musicians in Zimbabwe, who represented women at most major events for artists,” he said.

“In appreciation of her prowess in music, Mbuya Chiweshe was crowned queen of mbira music at Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield, Harare, and was honoured with a 21-carat gold star. She was also to be conferred with a honorary degree in 2002 by the University of Zimbabwe through a Jenaguru Arts Centre initiative. The queen of mbira music deserves the national hero status, as she was a patriotic cadre of Zimbabwe.  May her soul rest in peace.”

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe executive director Nicholas Moyo described the late songbird as Zimbabwe’s Queen of Mbira.

“Mbuya Stella Chiweshe was undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s Queen of Mbira and one of the country’s foremost cultural exports. With her swooping vocals on the mbira, she brought traditional Zimbabwean Shona music to the international stage,” Moyo said.

Zimbabwe Music Rights Association executive director Polisile Ncube-Chimhini said Chiweshe had left a big void in the music industry that was hard to fill instantly.

“I am so sorry for the passing on of Mbuya Chiweshe. The music fraternity has lost a giant, true patriot and a revolutionary musician whose music inspired the black majority,” she said.

“I believe her music will, however, continue to inspire generations to come. My heart is with the Chiweshe family and the whole arts industry at this difficult time. May her soul rest in peace.”

National Gallery of Zimbabwe executive director Raphael Chikukwa said: “This is a saddest start of the year 2023. We have been robbed of the daughter of the soil and a singer par excellence as a nation. She was a powerful voice that will remain with us and those across waters. May her soul rest in peace.”

Renowned multi-instrumentalist and music producer, Clive “Mono” Mukundu said: “It is sad that this January, we have lost yet another international icon from Zimbabwe, the same month that we lost superstar Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi. May her soul rest in peace.”

With a career spanning over 40 years, Chiweshe was a recipient of various local and international awards, including the Billboard Music Award (1993), the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) (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.

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Music at the Farm presents Valentine’s Day concert Feb. 12 – Valley Breeze

BURRILLVILLE – Music at the Farm will present a Valentine’s Day concert on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m., at Grace Note Farm, 969 Jackson Schoolhouse Road, Pascoag.

The concert “Ah, The Birds” will feature flutist Virginia Sindelar and pianist Elias Dagher. They will perform “Martinu’s First Sonata,” “Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat,” “Joueurs de Flute” by Albert Roussel, “Vivaldi Concerto in C Major” (Goldfinch), Massiaen’s “The Black Bird” and Jules Mouquet’s “Pan and the Birds.”

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Ukraine war – latest: Russia hints it will do something to ‘gain world’s … – Sky News

Positive signs are emerging that the West is willing to provide more, and better, weapons to Ukraine. But with the first anniversary of the conflict fast approaching, there are fears that Ukraine and Russia could remain locked in stalemate over the next year. 

Professor Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, has warned in an essay for Foreign Politics that “incrementally expanding military and economic assistance” – as the West is doing currently – “is likely to only prolong the war indefinitely”. 

He wrote that Ukraine’s allies should start rapidly expanding their weapons deliveries and sanctions on Russia to support a “breakthrough” in the conflict. 

“Even though Putin must understand by now that Ukrainians are willing to fight for as long as it takes to liberate their country, he still believes that time is on his side. That is because Putin expects Western governments and societies to lose their will and interest to keep helping Ukraine,” he said. 

Professor McFaul said the support should be provided “swiftly” – and could even be part of a “Big Bang” to mark the anniversary.

“Rather than providing ATACMs in March, Reapers in June, and jets in September, NATO should go for a Big Bang,” he said. 

“Plans to provide all these systems should be announced on February 24, 2023, the first anniversary of Putin’s invasion. 

“An announcement of this size will produce an important psychological effect inside the Kremlin and Russian society, signaling that the West is committed to Ukraine’s ambition to liberate all occupied territories.”

He acknowledged there were risks to providing more support, but said there were also risks to taking no action.

For example, he said fears that Vladimir Putin could escalate the war have so far not come to fruition. 

“The reason is simple: Putin has no good way of doing so,” Mr McFaul said. 

“He is already using very expensive cruise missiles to attack apartment buildings. He cannot attack NATO, lest he risk a broader war that Russia would lose quickly. That leaves him with only the nuclear option, but even that would not serve him well.”

He added that if the war drags on for years, many more people will die – and this would be “the cost of incrementalism”.

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Beyoncé announces much anticipated ‘Renaissance’ world tour … – The Zimbabwe Mail


Beyoncé is taking her “Renaissance” global — the superstar will start a world tour in Sweden in May with stops throughout Europe and the United States.

The highly anticipated tour announcement she made on Instagram and her website Wednesday comes days before the Grammy Awards on Sunday, where the global superstar is the most nominated artist and could make Recording Academy history.

Beyoncé, the most decorated woman in Grammy history with 28 wins, could break the late Hungarian-British conductor Georg Solti’s record for most awards won if she wins four awards.

Her 2022 album “Renaissance” is a celebration of dance music and is nominated for album of the year. Her tour will make stops in London, Paris, Barcelona and Toronto before ending Sept. 27 in New Orleans.

There were hints that she might tour again after she performed an invite-only show in January in Dubai at the Atlantis The Royal Resort, her first show in four years. Her last solo tour was in 2016, but she went on tour with her husband Jay Z in 2018.

Ticketmaster said in a release that sales will begin Feb. 6 and fans will need to register through their Verified Fan system. Sale times will vary based on city.

Source: AP

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