Harare’s Book Café, in association with arts development organisation Pamberi Trust’s gender project FLAME, once again joins the world to commemorate the global ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence’ campaign. The programme which started on the 13 and 14 November with two strong presentations in association with the Women’s Arts Festival, continues this weekend with Sistaz Open Mic. A daytime performance platform, Sistaz Open Mic allows the participation of women in the arts from dance, poetry, theatre, music and comedy.
This special “16 days Kick-Off” event features Mercy Dhliwayo (better known by her stage name, Xtreme Sanity), a slam poet, emcee and an emerging writer and photographer. Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Xtreme started off as a rapper in 1997 and later branched off into poetry and spoken word in 2005 as a first year student at the University of Limpopo. Xtreme has performed on various platforms which include, but are not limited to, the Intwasa Festival, the University of Limpopo Heritage Festivals, The Black Market Ace’s Annual Charity events; the Canimambo Free Form Musical Festival as well as various festivals hosted by Shindig Awe and the Fire on the Mountain Festival. She has also taken part in the SABC 2′s Lentswe Poetry Project competition in which, through her poem, Survival Techniques, she won under the HIV/AIDS Category in Limpopo Province (2007) and went on to represent the Limpopo Province under the same category at the national level of the competition (2008).
Over the years Sistaz Open Mic has worked closely worked with the College of Music students who utilize the stage to gain confidence and work on their stagecraft. This Saturday there will be a special appearance by an all-female College of Music band, Eve Kawadza as well as many other exciting artists.
The Open Mic will be followed shortly at 530pm by Caroleen Masawi now known as MASA. MASA is a fast rising afro-soul, jazz artist whose songs traverse between genres of rock and neo-soul. Masa started performing a year and a half ago on the FLAME platform, and has had the privilege of sharing the stage with musicians such Pablo Nakapa, Edith Weutonga, Rute Mbangwa, Eve Kawadza and Tina Watyoka. Her inspiration is drawn from social issues, family and love.
16 Days events will continue culminating to the 16 Days Human Rights Concert at the Book Café on the 10th of December.