BULAWAYO comes alive on Saturday night when Willis Wataffi, Jeys Marabini and a host of other musicians perform at the Bulawayo Theatre in a concert dubbed Bulawayo World Music and Dance Concert.
The event, scheduled to start at 6pm, will also see upcoming artistes showcase their talent in celebration of Africa Day.
The Bulawayo World Music and Dance Concert is supported by the Pamberi Trust, Africalia, European Union, National Arts Council, Sound Kalcha, Mkhaya Music and KoMaseko Art and Ceramics and Aquastone events.
Organiser of the show Butshilo Nleya said: “I am extremely excited to announce that we have a once-in-a-while show in Bulawayo that will see the legends of the music industry share the stage with young upcoming artistes and weave isitshikitsha, ballet and contemporary dance into it.
“The special aspect of this show is that we are celebrating Bulawayo’s talent in a bid to build an audience for world music and alternative arts activities.”
Other artistes expected to perform are XMile, Bozoe with The Outfit, Djembe Monks, Alaina, Luke De Luks, Thandy Dlana, Eve Kawadza and a drumming ensemble led by Erustus Nleya and Obey Mudiwa.
Dance choreography will also be part of the night with isitshikitsha presented by dancers from Umkhathi Theatre Works, ballet and contemporary by Studio 13.
The event, running under the theme “Relinking Communities Through Culture”, is part of a programme including a book launch on May 21 by Richard Mahomva, a poetry show and slam on May 23 and the Bulawayo Night Of 1 000 Laughs scheduled for May 30.
Nleya added: “The theme of the concert, ‘Relinking Communities Through Culture’, is born from the concept of cultural inclusivity in which we welcome and celebrate all the extraordinary cultural diversity, origins and also African and other influences that make up Zimbabwean arts today.”
Driven by Harare-based arts development organisation Pamberi Trust, the theme runs through a great programme which has unveiled in Harare at the Book Café, Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton and Bulawayo.
Pamberi Trust creative director Paul Brickhill said: “The theme itself has really important issues at stake. Arts output nationally has become heavily concentrated in Harare, where so many artistes have migrated, yet the roots of many of Zimbabwe’s great musical innovations originated outside Harare. Mbira, imbube, chimurenga styles and others have their roots in diverse rural cultures, sometimes far from the cities,” he said.
“A kind of cultural fragmentation has occurred and there is a need to rebuild cultural assets outside Harare where there are such rich and vital intangible cultural assets. This is about cultural decentralisation, cultural inclusivity and relinking diverse communities through culture.
“These institutions are contributing to the fibre of arts exhibition in Bulawayo in a time when artistes are struggling worse than ever. We are proud to be associated with them and want to pass the statement that Bulawayo needs more support and encouragement like what we are seeing from these institutions. We opted to do a series of weekend events this year to organically grow an audience and understand what their tastes and preferences are in the arts,” he added.