January 21 2019 – IN ZIMBABWE the mbira is mostly played by elderly men, but a young Zimbabwean woman in Port Elizabeth is making money from playing the instrument.
Evanthea Chiwara (22), who is originally from, teaches mbira in her area and told the Daily Sun she started playing the instrument in 2009 at Malbelreign Girls High School in Harare.
“My grandfather was a skilled traditional musician and played mbira with passion. I used to accompany him to his performances,” says Evanthea, who lives with her parents.
“I was also inspired by the late mbira legend Chiwoniso Maraire.
“She used to come and give lessons at our school. Chiwoniso was an international star. She encouraged us to challenge men and be the best at whatever we did. I got inspired seeing how she had travelled the world and the influence she had on other musicians.”
Evanthea came to in Mzansi in 2017 but couldn’t find people who were interested in mbira music and it only recently that she began to make inroads. ” It was only in last month when I started to teach people how to play mbira, including tourists.
“I’m still looking for people who are interested in forming a traditional band,” she said.
“I’m also willing to teach mbira at local schools.” – Daily Sun