Liberty Dube Entertainment Correspondent
LOCALLY based mbira arts ensemble, Ntswai Ntswai, has embarked on a mission to take their brand internationally after introducing contemporary instruments such acoustic guitars to their music. Although the Dangamvura-based outfit has endeared themselves to scores of fans across the country thanks to their rich and unique traditional presentation, the development is aimed at wooing more regional and international fans as they prepare to release an afro-fusion album.
The outfit meant serious business last Sunday when they performed at the Rozvi Sports Bar second anniversary celebrations held in the sprawling high-density suburb of Dangamvura. They divided their songs into segments — pure traditional music and dance and Afro-pop. They did ‘‘Nehondo’’ in marimba, mbira and hosho before they did cover tracks of Oliver Mtukudzi, Chiwoniso Maraire and Andy Brown as well as their own compositions, ‘‘Nguva Yaenda’’ and ‘‘Nguva Yekufara’’.
The Sports Bar, popularly known as Creche Yemadhara, was a hive of activity after scores of revellers attended the gig which was also meant to bring together talented local musical groups from the eastern border city. Exciting Zim-dancehall whizkid, Diamond Kid did not disappoint after belting out tracks such as ‘‘Ndinotofara Ndinaye’’, “Bad Mind People” featuring Silent Killer, ‘‘Mari Yangu’’, ‘‘Chaitemura’’ featuring Versatile, ‘‘Shungu Dzemoyo’’, ‘‘Mafans Angu’ (Ndinokutendai)”. Jazz sensation Steve Chikotie did not disappoint either.
The surprise appearance of some members of Assegai Crew and Nice to Nice also added spice to the event. Show organiser Edmore Gopo said he was overwhelmed by the bumper crowd that attended the festivities.
“The event was not just meant for the celebrations, but also aimed at bringing together various artistes who are usually marginalised by some local promoters who prioritise Harare-based artistes at the expense of our own.
“We have abundant talent here in Mutare, but sometimes they lack the exposure and platform to showcase their talent. The event managed to bring socialites, artistes and fun lovers on one platform, so we are glad that we achieved our intended results,” said Gopo.