Friday, 21 November 2014


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).
Mercy Dhliwayo
She has further featured in the Black Markets PLK Hip Hop Mixtape (2006); Face the Music Hip hop Timeless Mixtape (2007), the Essential Words (2011), the Shindig Awe: Have we put out the fire Compilation (2012) and the African Fem MC’s Mixtape (2012).  Apart from recordings, her poetry has been published in the Have We Put out The fire Journal, and in the Sunday News newspaper as well as online. Apart from being a poet and an emcee, Xtreme also writes short stories.

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.
She performed at this year’s edition of the Italian Music Festival “Musica” where she shared the stage with extremely talented Italian guitarist Andrea Valeri.   She also opened for Oliver Mutukudzi and Tariro neGitare at the Alliance Francoise recently backed by the Sunsets Jazz Band.  MASA has a song “Pamusoroi” which ties in with the 16 days of activism against Gender Based violence.

16 Days events will continue culminating to the 16 Days Human Rights Concert at the Book Café on the 10th of December.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

F.L.A.M.E Rolls Out 16 Days Events

From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World:

Book Café rolls out ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence’ programme

Book Café, Thursday 13 and Friday 14 November 2014

“…violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.”
– Bank Ki-Moon, Secretary-General to the United Nations
Harare’s Book Café, in association with arts development organisation Pamberi Trust’s gender project FLAME, once again unleashes a vivid programme to commemorate the global ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence’ campaign, starting off early this year on 13 and 14 November with two strong presentations in association with the Women’s Arts Festival, and ending on 10 December.
Since 2007 Pamberi Trust has been coordinating the annual campaign at the Book Café, and now in its seventh year the programme continues to excite and inspire, with music and poetry events, workshops, discussions and film screenings, closing on 10 December with the annual Human Rights Concert.  The programme joins thousands of activists from around the world in a call for an end to gender-based violence and more substantial responses on the part of governments to act with due diligence in protecting and preventing gender-based violence.

The Book Café programme starts on Thursday 13 November at 5.30pm, when the Women’s Arts Festival presents an early evening discussion, in association with the Sally Women’s Institute, ‘How To Achieve Lasting Peace For Women’ including performances by Edith Katiji and Emelia Patrick. Presentations from policy experts, grassroots leaders and media will interrogate the legal strategies in place around the status, rights and security of women in Zimbabwe, looking at pressing threats to women’s security, exploring ways in which to strengthen the state’s response to gender-based violence, and what real peace means to women. 
In the afternoon of Friday 14 November starting at 2pm on the Book Cafe Garden Stage, Women’s Arts Festival presents ‘MOTHERS’ a two-woman play performed by Sarah Mpofu–Sibanda and Musa Sibanda, and directed by Thembi Ngwabi.  ‘Mothers’ is the story of Mira, a woman who gets caught up by her past.  The play is full of unexpected twists and suspense.  The play is presented by Women in Theatre and Nhimbe Trust.

Other events follow on from Sistaz Open Mic on 22 November, through to 10 December, Human Rights Day.  Watch the press for details.

About the 16 Days Campaign

For the past twenty-three years, the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign has been dedicated to advocacy and coordination of work in support of ending gender-based violence at the local and international levels. The dates, November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and December 10 (Human Rights Day), were chosen to emphasize the links between ending gender-based violence and human rights values and highlight that gender-based violence is an international human rights violation.

The 16 Days Campaign is used as an organizing strategy to call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence by individuals and groups throughout the world.                              

Positioning the 16 Days Campaign from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and December 10 (Human Rights Day) rightfully stresses that gender-based violence is an international human rights violation.

Integral to a world free of gender-based violence where all are able to experience freedom from fear and want is, in part, the recognition of the indivisibility of human rights, and that women’s rights are human rights.

From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Gender-Based Violence!

The culture of militarism builds on and protects systems of power by controlling dissent and using violence to settle economic, political and social disputes. Militarism draws on and perpetuates patriarchal models of political, economic, and social domination of people by a small number of elites and privileges violent masculinity as acceptable behavior.
The 16 Days Campaign focus on the intersections of gender-based violence and militarism is an effort to work toward a more equitable and peaceful world.
Within the contexts of the intersections of gender-based violence, militarism, and economic and social rights, and being mindful of the work of campaigners worldwide, the global 16 Days Campaign has identified three priority areas for the 2014 Campaign:

o       Violence Perpetrated by State Actors

o       Proliferation of Small Arms in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence

o       Sexual Violence During and After Conflict

The intersectionality of age, class, gender, geographic location, race/ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation among other categories of analysis inform the ways in which women experience and respond to violence, inequality, and discrimination. They also affect the ways in which communities and the States respond since States’ relations with the people are mediated in part through the above categories.



By Penny Yon

Monday, 13 October 2014


Saturday 11, was emotional as one after the other, participants paid tribute to Paul Brickhill, founder of the Book Café at the Sistaz Open Mic.

Guest of Honour at the event, Patience Musa, gave a touching speech, "The story of my life would not be complete without mentioning Paul Brickhill," Patience said.  She went on to narrate on her experience at the Mannenberg as well as the old Book Café saying many never knew who Paul was until the passed away because of his humbleness.

Boniface Mavengeni, father to mbira hopeful Tendai Mavengeni said, "Thumps up to the organisers and all who performed @ Paul's Tribute. It was very emotional celebration of Paul's life. Well I must be very honest such platforms like the Sistaz open Mic are hard to come by. Paul made life easy for a lot of upcoming artists."

The Sistaz Open Mic which is mostly restricted to women artists was on the day open to brothers supporting sistaz and saw many performing, the likes of Kessia Magosha, Tendai Mavengeni, Eve Kawadza, Patience Musa, Ba Shupi, Bryan Kandengu, Tendex Mudzviti, Vera, D-Blok, RedRuffRider, Ammi Jamanda just to mention a few.  The celebrations continued with Emilia Patrick taking to the stage to close the show.

Vera and D-Blok

Tendex Madzviti

Patience Musa

Zaza Muchemwa(MC)

Leonard Matsa with Sandra Mlambo

Carmen Hwarari-Mutengo with Rudo Chakanyuka

Bryan Kandengu

Francesca Mandeya


Tendai Mavengeni

Ndebele Sisters