By Tawanda Mudzonga
Published April 11, 2013
Two powerful music forces converge on Friday night as mbira star Chiwoniso Maraire and ace performer Ba Shupi give a show that is guaranteed to have fans dancing all night long. The long-hailed queen of mbira will perform on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 8pm with frequent collaborator Ba Shupi who is lighting up the Zimbabwe music scene. The show promises to be an explosive performance as these two enigmatic personalities bring their music to life on the Book Cafe stage in Harare.
Chiwoniso Maraire is Zimbabwe’s most successful female musician. In a career spanning 20-odd years, she is a critically acclaimed artist and regularly performs her brand of entrancing and uplifting music at The Book Cafe. Called the queen of mbira, Chiwoniso perfectly embodies ancient soul and modern spirit, winning her many fans locally and internationally.
Maraire is famous for her mbira playing and deeply emotive voice. All who have seen her captivating show know that she is a passionate and moving performer. Her music and legend has stretched across the globe and her song lyrics strike a chord, infusing a deeper understanding of Zimbabwean life. As a songwriter Maraire says, “I am like a mirror- I basically sing about what I see happening in the world.”
Her unflinching eye on the issues that affect society and also the individual have been well-documented in her catalogue of songs, showing her moving compassion particularly for women in this society.
In March 2013, Chiwoniso Maraire was invited by the government of Mauritius to perform at the 45th Independence Anniversary Gala, a performance that was the highlight of the celebrations and in May 2013, she will perform for the 50th Independence of Ethiopia at the invitation of the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Chiwoniso Maraire will share the stage Friday night with popular singer Ba Shupi. Possessing one of the best voices in the business and singing in an Afro-contemporary style, the Godo star frequently performs with Maraire, igniting an undeniable chemistry onstage that brings out some of Zimbabwe’s best music. In 2012 the two shared the stage at Nigerian superstars P-Square concert to rapturous applause. Having performed in and around the club circuit in Harare for many years, the two have a well-established musical rapport.
Relatively unknown, Ba Shupi is a fantastic musician who gives one hundred percent. This past February, he opened for Oliver Mtukudzi at The Book Cafe, where the undeniably charismatic performer wowed the sit-down crowd. His latest album release–Mhemberero–is a compilation of all his hit songs, and receives regular airplay on radio. This star performer is one to watch and is well on-track to becoming one of Zimbabwe’s music greats.