Local Mbira outfit Duramazwi is in Aswan, Egypt for the Annual Aswan International Arts and Culture festival.
The 12-member ensemble based in Harare and led by Sarudzai “Gogo” Jaravaza is representing Zimbabwe at the multicultural festival which runs from 15 to 22 February 2022 and features the hosts and 7 other participating groups from Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bangladesh, Mexico and Greece.
Rodney Ruwende, Communication and Marketing Manager NACZ
The group was seconded by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation as part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness and popularize the Mbira, which was listed on the Representative List of World Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2020.
Gogo Jaravaza said the group was elated to represent Zimbabwe at the international festival and was ready to wow the audiences with polished performances of mbira and spiced with traditional dances.
“We hope our presence at this event will also provide lessons for others, especially the youth about the importance of our own culture, which also inculcates values of respect and love for each other,”
Formed in 2013, Duramazwi has produced dominant hits in the local mbira circles with songs such as Chembere Dzemvura, Chinyakare Wakaendepi (2019), Toisa Maoko (2021) and their latest hit Pasi Rapinduka.
The group has also toured extensively in Namibia and South Africa and showcases Dinhe and Mbakumba dances in their stage performances as a way of safeguarding and sharing Zimbabwe’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.
Duramazwi won the admiration of local audiences with its polished performances at the official opening ceremony of the International Conference of African Cultures (ICAC) at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe on the 25th of November in 2021.
The Mbira showcase at the 9th Aswan festival is expected to contribute significantly to the international discourse on the use of Zimbabwe’s unique Mbira instrument and cultural dances, as part of both the tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage for sustainable development.