REVIEW: A Show Chiwoniso Would Have Been Proud Of

A year, it is one of the most incredibly weird feelings in the world, hearing Chiwoniso Maraire’s music on stage and she isn’t there.

However, Alice Knuth and her team put together a show last night that Chi, would have been proud of. The discussions, the installations – oh those beautiful installations  – the music, the life, the expectation, the movement. Yes, Chiwoniso transcended from artist to movement.

Roki and Ammara Brown at Chiwoniso's tribute show -  PIC: Fungai Foto/Zimbojam

Roki and Ammara Brown at Chiwoniso’s tribute show – PIC: Fungai Foto/Zimbojam

The band was most of the original Vibe Culture with Rumbi Tavaziva taking over lead vocals as a selection of guests performed songs from the Mbira Queen. They got everyone in on the act from the vibrant Florence and Jackie from African Pride, to Nyamasvisva with sprinklings of Edith Weutonga, Mike, Chikwata 263, Ba Shupi, Diskoord, Victor Kunonga, Ammara Brown, to name a few.

Caught up in the occasion some artists who had not been on the bill jumped onto the stage and performed their hearts out, sometimes out of tune but in the right spirit.

Victor Kunonga and Nyamasvisva on stage at the Chiwoniso tribute  PIC: Fungai Foto/Zimbojam

Victor Kunonga and Nyamasvisva on stage at the Chiwoniso tribute PIC: Fungai Foto/Zimbojam

To review every performance individually would be to lose the essence of the occasion. There was life, genuine happiness, a vibrancy that was what defined Chiwoniso. Her fans, family brought mazirudo, to a painful day in Zimbabwe’s cultural calendar. They were happy, they remembered Chiwoniso.

It was fitting that the show was held at what had become a spiritual home for Chiwoniso, The Book Cafe.

It was as is if Chiwoniso herself was bursting to come out and be part of the occasion. She probably invaded it and made it a night for the ages.

One thing we will know forever, is that Chiwoniso is loved. A year down the line, she is loved.