The monthly event – which sees upwards of 20 young women performing, sometimes for the very first time – has over the years been graced and validated by the participation of established women in the arts – Dudu Manhenga, Hope Masike, Edith Katiji, Tariro neGitare, the late Chiwoniso Maraire in her time, and many others. Literally hundreds of young (and not-so-young) women singers, poets, musicians, and dancers who have claimed ‘the space’ as their own.
This Saturday, Tina Watyoka claims the 5.30-7pm ‘Sistaz Afterparty’ set, supported by exciting young artists in her backing band.
Sistaz Open Mic was started by Harare-based arts development NGO Pamberi Trust in 2006 as a space in which young women could come out in the safety of daytime to perform and perfect their work, interact with other artists, and use as a stepping-stone in their artistic careers. It started under then project officer Linda Gabriel who later went on to study in Johannesburg, perform in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, and is now based in Harare. The reins were later taken over by Batsirai Chigama, gender project officer for Pamberi Trust who is also a gifted and successful poet in her own right, and has managed the monthly event ever since, under the FLAME project (Female Literary Arts & Music Enterprise).
This Saturday 12 September, Sistaz Open Mic will be in full swing in the Pamberi Trust garden at 139 S.Machel Ave (entrance 6th Street gate). A big turnout of artists of diverse disciplines and styles is expected. The event is free, and all people are welcome!
TINA WATYOKA takes up the Sistaz Open Mic ‘afterparty’ in the 5.30-7pm set, which is a lively affair, turning the spotlight on individual women who have emerged from the open mic platform. Tina Watyoka is a gifted young daughter of Zimbabwe – a graduate of Zimbabwe College of Music, now studying for an Honours degree in Music & Musicology at Midlands State University and currently interning with Music Crossroads, who burst onto the Harare stage a few years ago from the Sistaz Open Mic platform, and went on to perform many times at the Book Café and other venues, alongside some of Zimbabwe’s most popular artists, such as Victor Kunonga and Alexio Kawara, who she names as valuable mentors in her music career. In 2014, Tina joined a vivid cultural collaboration with Edith WeUtonga and Rute Mbangwa as ‘Amawala’ (‘they shine’) which was presented in Harare in July, August and September , and at Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo in September 2014, and wowed audiences in both two cities. In December 2014, Amawala were invited to perform at the ZimRights Human Rights Awards in Bulawayo.
Independently, Tina launched her debut album “Introducing Tina’ in 2010 and a second album ‘Ndoita Sei?” in February 2014.
Links: Tina Watyoka www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ox_m7adRVEPost published in: Arts