Wellington Kudiwa Entertainment Reporter
The Sistaz Open Mic held this past weekend at the Book Café in celebration of the International Women’s Day showed that the females in the music industry are a force to reckon with.
Established in 2007, this year’s edition hosted by jazz singer Edith WeUtonga, is a major platform to nurture and identify talented female artistes in poetry, song and dance.
Among some of the young women who participated in the Sistaz Open Mike are sensational Mabelreign Girls High student Tendai Muvengeni, who is only 14 year old.
The teenage mbira artiste dazzled the crowd with her latest offering titled “Tinunurei’.
She said the track was meant to encourage men to stop abusing their female counterparts for this will lead to the arrest of these perpetrators by law enforcements.
“Firstly, I would like to thank my mentor, Claire Nyakudjara, who inspired me to venture into mbira music as a hobby.”
“I would also like to dedicate my song ‘Tinunurei’” to all abused women in the world because it seems that abuse of women around in the world is on the rise despite calls from various organisations to stop these heinous acts,” she said.
The other participants who took part in event include Rugare Natalie, who sang “Keep on Keeping On”, a song that encourages women to persevere in times of trouble which includes domestic abuse and rape.
Myrah Dube, was also part of the Sistaz Open Mic celebrations, where she sang emotional track titled “Nhamo”.
Speaking with The Herald Entertainment, spoken word artiste and a key founder of Sistaz Open Mic, Batsirai Chigama said the event is a held every second Saturday of the month but this month was special because of the International Women’s Day cele- brations.
“At Sistaz Open Mic we celebrate the achievements of women in the arts, it’s been a struggle and we notice the presence of women performing and holding their own professionally in the industry, but it is a day for every woman that is at the marketplace, tilling the land, in the office, woman everywhere to just celebrate themselves.
“We celebrated with gifted women in song, poetry, dance and crafts the likes of “Edith WeUtonga, who was our MC, Clare Nyakujara, Tendai Mavengeni, Nancy Mutize, Linda Gabriel, Charity Hutete, Anthea Taderera, Caroline Maburutse, Myrah Dube, just to mention a few,”she said.
Chigama also shed some light on how the project came about and how the Sistaz Open Mic came into existence.
“The FLAME (Female Literary, Arts & Music Enterprise) project was launched in October 2006 as an arts development programme designed to practically promote women artistes into the mainstream of the arts in Zimbabwe, by providing performance opportunities, exposure, skills workshops, networking possibilities and pub- licity.
“ In 2007 FLAME established Sistaz Open Mic as a monthly event held on a Saturday afternoon, created to encourage young women to come out in the safety of daytime, and participate in the arts,” she said.