This Saturday 8 March, Zimbabweans will be gathering at Book Café on 139 S.Machel Avenue to celebrate International Women’s Day in several activities to mark the day under the global theme ‘Inspiring Change’, with women leading the way – on stage, off stage, managing the production and behind the camera.
The programme for this Women’s Day includes the popular SISTAZ OPEN MIC afternoon event from 2-5pm, followed by an evening concert from 8pm featuring two of Zimbabwe’s much-loved singer-songwriters, PRUDENCE KATOMENI and RUTE MBANGWA, and welcoming for the first time, the women’s acappella group ‘NOBUNTU’ from Bulawayo.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made towards women’s empowerment, to call for change where women are disadvantaged, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Pamberi Trust, the vibrant arts development organisation in Harare, established its gender programme FLAME (Female Literary, Arts & Music Enterprise) in 2006, working with hundreds of women artists over the years to bring women into the mainstream of the arts in Zimbabwe, with many success stories to date, through the staging of events including the annual International Women’s Day and ‘16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women’.
SISTAZ OPEN MIC opens from 2pm at Book Café on Saturday 8 March, and this month hosts for the first time ever, an hour of ‘WOMAN Scream, Zimbabwe, 2014’, with comedians, poets, visual artists, and fashion designers meeting to celebrate just being women. This segment will feature the work of poets Aura Mlilo, Tinashe Tafirenyika, Peggie Umind Shangwa, Sister Zai, Batsirai E Chigama, Tarie Kay, comedy from Kessia Magosha, and music from Brezhnev Guveya, Caroleen Masawi and Blessing Chimanga. The main stage of the venue will carry art & design by visual artist Christine Ndoro and fashion designer Sabina Mutsvati.
The ‘Woman Scream’ Festival is celebrated in commemoration of the importance of women’s role in society, and also serves as a platform for talented poetess all over the world who collaborate inside and outside the movement. Woman Scream holds the important mission of using art and poetry with a social purpose: Sending messages of non-violence against women. Zimbabwean women artists join in solidarity under the FLAME banner.
The Open Mic then continues from 3-5pm with dance, music, poetry and much more. Our guests for this month are Maria Vera Chisvo & Macy & The Reds. Established artists who continually lend their support to the FLAME programme and who are expected to be there, include Dudu Manhenga and Edith Katiji, among others.
“It’s always a fun event full of surprises”, said Rudo Chakanyuka, Pamberi Trust multimedia officer and FLAME project member who manages the stage for the event. “You never know who will pitch up on the day, and some of the performances are so spontaneous, sparking new fires. No two Sistaz Open mic events are alike, it’s never the same as the last, and even after 7 years, there is always something new!” she said.
|Maria Vera Chisvo|
From 5-8pm, the Book Café’s leafy Gochi-gochi Garden DJ will be spinning the music of Zimbabwean women who have launched albums in the past year, including the CD ‘Ndoita Sei?’ by Tina Watyoka which was just launched at Book Café on 27 February, Edith Katiji’s ‘Kwacha!’, new material from hiphop emcee ‘Blackbyrd’, tracks by the swifly rising Ammara Brown, newcomer Pah Chihera with the hit song ‘Runonzi Rudo’, Selmor Mtukudzi with ‘Expressions’ – and many more.
“The garden sundowner session pays tribute to the work of these artists with this special platform for exposure, and provides a wonderful space to chill-out and refresh between the two main events, with women’s voices rolling throughout”, said Penny Yon, another FLAME team member and arts administrator for Pamberi Trust
The final WOMEN’S DAY CONCERT starts at 8pm, celebrating some of our countries best and dearest women’s voices, opening with a Harare-debut performance of the women’s acappella group ‘NOBUNTU’ all the way from the City of Kings (and Queens!) – Bulawayo. The name ‘Nobuntu’ is an African concept that values humbleness, love, purpose, unity and family from a woman’s perspective. The five talented young women present an exciting fusion of traditional Zimbabwean-rooted music, afro jazz, gospel and crossovers – a new generation of Zimbabwean women who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty and heritage through song. Formed in 2011, the group believe that music is the most important and original wheel of change, with the ability to transcend racial, trial, religious, gender and economic boundaries. The purity of their voices and energy on stage communicates with the ‘human side’ of everyone. Deck Magazine described it as “something about their music which makes one’s soul smile”. Since the release of their debut album THINA in 2013, Nobuntu has already conducted a one-month tour of Austria and Germany. The group is excited about their first performance in the capital, and are ready to deliver!
|Rute Mbangwa & Prudence Katomeni|
Pamberi Trust development programmes are funded by Africalia, Hivos and the EU among others, and it's present Board of Trustees is well gender-balanced, including four highly respected women who have made a strong contribution to the development of the arts industry in Zimbabwe - Jackie Cahi, Virginia Phiri, Dudu Manhenga and Petina Gappah.ABOUT IWD
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. For more on International Women' s Day, go here.
International Women's Day 2014 Theme: INSPIRING CHANGEWomen's equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.
Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme for our internationalwomensday.com global hub and encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.
The vast array of communication channels, supportive spokespeople, equality research, campaigns and corporate responsibility initiatives means everyone can be an advocate inspiring change for women's advancement.
Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.