Rutendo Denise Mutsamwira is a multi- platform creator. She is an award winning spoken word and voice artist, broadcaster and writer helping Africa focused businesses and individuals to tell their brand stories clearly and authentically through spoken word, writing and broadcasting. Mutsamwira creates and curates content which contributes towards an increased awareness, reverence and knowledge of Zimbabwean history, culture and indigenous ancestral knowledge systems.
On Wednesday 31 August 2022, she released a spoken word fusion EP entitled “Mukundi ” with a private pre launch listening session of the project held on Sunday 28 August at Ster Kinekor, Sam Levy’s Village.
Mukundi is a Shona term meaning one who wins, overcomes or gains by success in competition, contest, or gaming. I believe there is something incredible about Zimbabwe and the spirit of Zimbabweans from generations past and to come. So much so, I believe that tese tiri vakundi (we are over-comers despite the enormity of the things we face individually and collectively as a nation. This body of work is a celebration, provocation, affirmation and remembrance of the past, present and future of Zimbabwe exploring the following themes: self knowledge and awareness, ancestral reverence, mental health and identity fusing spoken word with musical elements. – Rutendo Denise Mutsamwira
This project is supported by the British Council Cultural Economy programme, which supports cultural organisations, festivals, artists, and creatives between the countries of SSA and the UK to create art, build networks, collaborate and develop markets and share artists’ work with audiences.
The five track offering creatively addresses difficult conversations around Zimbabweans identity crisis, mental health and the need for love and community to move families and nations forward as there is so much more to learn from and glean from indigenous knowledge systems. Fungai Nengare is the producer of the project and has managed to change the trajectory of spoken word fusions through his meticulous song structure and form. Nengare is a versatile Zimbabwean singer-songwriter ,performer, guitarist and Star fm best R&B song nominee (2019) known for his warm, Afro-centric fusion of jazz, pop and RnB. has worked with artists such as Tina Masawi ,Prudence Katomeni,
Patience Musa, Dj Naida, Simba Tagz, Reverb 7, Tehn Diamond, Synik, Rutendo Denise, Prayer Soul, Adiona and Tariro Negitare.
Mukundi has the following tracks:
Until We Honour The Mothers, which spotlights Zimbabwean, African, Caribbean and African American women who have contributed to their nations either through politics, literature, science and technology and global affairs.
Tirimuhondo (we are at war), which focusses on the different forms of internal conflict and battle individuals face in the form of identity crises, the high rate of suicide by men and internalized self hate.
Mandiri (within me) features renowned spoken artist and creative Aurra Kawanzaruwa and the track is a form of reassurance for people to realise that everything they need to achieve and to succeed lies within them.
My Me Mo features Jazz musician Ashley “Zuva” Nyemba and it is a soothing lullaby unpacking some of the troubling issues that one thinks of before they fall asleep.
Midzimu Yangu Ndinoida is a verbal public display of affection for ancestors both from the family and national level. The track also plays tribute to Zimbabwe’s forefathers mentioning the likes of Karigamombe, Murenga, Chingaira- Makoni, Mandemo, Gumboreshumba, Chinengundu and others. Mutsamwira also plays the Nhare Mbira on this track with the accompaniment of Tinashe “aJena -Soko” Chikore from Dzimbanhete Arts and Cultural Interactions.
The launch was graced by Gloria Mtombeni Murenga Zvaravanhu, Managing Director of Old Mutual Insurance Zimbabwe as guest of honour. Also in attendance were members from the creative and cultural industry including award-winning filmmaker and writer Rumbi Katedza, Stephen M Kada. Social Transformation and Business Consultant, Stimulus Africa’s Rudo Nyangulu – Mungofa, Mccloud Mungofa, music producer Reverb 7, Advocate Tafadzwa Muvhami, Naturopathic Specialist – Dr. Nyarai Paweni and Harare News Editor, Tawanda Mudzonga among others.
Prior to the Mukundi project, Mutsamwira also composed spoken word tracks for notable Zimbabwean designers Sabina Mutsvati of Cheukwa and Thembani Mubochwa of TZM Fashion house with the tracks Cheukwa and Umzebedu being used as runway music for the designers and Zimbabwe, Swahili and Zambia Fashion Weeks respectively.
Mutsamwira is currently studying Music Business and a professional certificate in music specialising in the Nhare Mbira with Music Crossroads Academy in Harare.
Mukundi is available on all major streaming platforms.
Listen to it here on Spotify.
Listen to it here on Apple Music
Listen to it here on Deezer
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