Mbuya Chiweshe to be buried on Tuesday

The Chronicle

Showbiz Reporter

The late Mbuya Stella Rambisai Chiweshe is set to be buried on Tuesday at Nekati Village, Chief Masembura Area in Chiweshe, about 40kms from Bindura.

The internationally acclaimed mbira queen was accorded a State-assisted funeral after succumbing to cancer of the brain last Friday.

It seems most music legends know when their time to be with the creator is up. Some express it in their songs like the likes of the late liberation hero Saul Musaka, popularly known as Soul Jah Love, who could have referenced his imminent Mbuya Chiweshe to be buried on Tuesday

demise through the song, “Kana Ndafa”.

Sungura maestro Tongai Moyo ‘Dhewa’ in the song, “Handidi Navo”, asks the Almighty, in the event that he died, to spare his children from any punishment, on account of his sins. He pleads with the Lord to punish him and him only, a song many believe he could have sung as he felt his end was nigh.

So is the case of Mbuya Chiweshe, a princess that played the spiritual instrument of the gods, the mbira.

Despite battling cancer she seemed to have known that she would not live past the month of January, advising her daughters to come back from abroad to be with her.

Family spokesperson and daughter Virginia Mukwesha-Hetze said she brought her mother home from Germany where she was hospitalized and was advised that the type of cancer she had could no longer be treated.

“I went back to Germany, but she asked for a date when I’d be coming back so I told her at the end of January. She refused to say it would be too late.

“On January 2, I came back since I listened carefully to her words, ‘unenge wanonoka’. It means probably she was feeling something,” she said.

Mukwesha-Hetze said the body would lie in state at the rural home.

“She will be buried in her rural home in Nekati village under Chief Masembura, Bindura in Mashonaland Central. We will take her body from the mortuary today straight to her homestead in Bindura where she will lie in state in her house. The burial is set for Tuesday in the afternoon,” she said.

Mukwesha-Hetze described the late mother as someone who wanted discipline among her children.

“She was a mother who was very strict since she wanted to straighten things up. She was concerned about the upliftment of women. Growing up, I used to play the mbira with her, but she has no child whom she said I want to teach you how to play mbira. I did so voluntarily,” she said.

Born Stella Rambisai Nekati Chiweshe on July 8, 1946, in Mujumi Village, Mhondoro, Mbuya Chiwese was known internationally for her singing and playing of the mbira dzevadzimu, a traditional instrument in Zimbabwe.

She was a musician, dancer, and actress.

She had a career spanning over 40 years with various local and international awards, including the Billboard Music Award (1993), NAMA (2006), NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award (2020) and NAMA Legends Awards (2021). She performed numerous times in Germany and also participated in the WOMAD festival (1994 in the United States, 1995 in Australia, and 2006 in Spain). Her very first single titled “Kasahwa” was recorded in 1974, at Teal Record Company and it went gold.

Mbuya Chiweshe trained for stage work for five years from 1981-1985 with the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe. She integrated marimba with mbira in 1986 — a ground-breaking innovation at the time.

In 2004 she toured England with her daughter. Mbuya Chiweshe was married to Peter Reich, a German national.

Mbuya Chiweshe is the great grand-daughter of VaMunaka, who was the medium of Tateguru Kaguvi, the resistance fighter beheaded by the British. Not only did she fight the colonial mentality that prohibited and discouraged indigenous worship, mbira and spiritual activities to honour ancestors who pass the prayers to our Creator, but she also took on gender role reversal by playing the mbira that was mostly played by men those days. – Herald

Article Source: The Chronicle

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