THE burial date of Mbira music giant, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe, who died from a brain tumour in Harare last Friday at the age of 76, will be announced after the arrival of close relatives from abroad, a family spokesperson has said.
Her daughter, Virginia Mukwesha, told H-Metro at Mbuya Chiweshe’s imposing holiday home in Goromonzi that her mother would be buried in the Masembura area near Bindura town where she built an arts centre.
“It was her wish to be buried there and we are just following what she said. She was indeed a good mother who will be best remembered for her love and talent as an artist,” said Virginia.
A mbira player in her own right, Virginia reckons Mbuya Chiweshe deserved to rest peacefully after her battle with cancer.
“There were moments when one could see that my mother was really in pain. She had sustained bad sores, but she remained strong and determined to fight,” she said.
Virginia hailed her mother for being a resilient woman who defied odds by pursuing the Mbira genre.
“My mother was a unique woman who shocked many people when she decided to pursue Mbira music. Back then, women were known as dancers and backing vocalists for mbira players, but she decided to go against the norm.
“We used to attend traditional ceremonies together with my mother and many people would be surprised to see her performing for the whole night,” she said.
Regarding Mbuya Chiweshe’s legacy, Virginia said it was still too early to ask them how they are going to preserve her legacy.
“We are still mourning and she hasn’t been buried yet, which makes it difficult. As a family, we are yet to decide what we are going to do because it’s too early to share our plans. We are still mourning and we will make further announcements after her burial,” she said.
Virginia said the family was humbled by the support they have received from artists and the music industry.
“A number of artists have been calling and comforting us as a family. The likes of Vee Mhofu, Diana Samkange and others have pledged to come and perform for free in honour of my mother.
“This is quite encouraging to see artists commiserating together in a display of love in happier and trying times,” she said.
Mbuya Chiweshe was accorded a State assisted funeral, meaning all funeral expenses will be footed by the Government.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director, Nicholas Moyo, who was accompanied by dub poet, Albert Nyathi, Hope Masike, veteran actor, Stephen Chigorimbo, and NACZ board members delivered the news to the family on Saturday.
Moyo hailed Mbuya Chiweshe as a creative genius who ran her race with distinction.
“Mbuya Chiweshe is a music legend who deserves to be honoured. We are happy that she has been accorded a State assisted funeral which is an honour,” she said.
Nyathi said Mbuya Chiweshe deserves to be further honoured.
“We need to come up with an annual festival in her honour. Surely, we can’t afford to ignore such legends who raised the Zimbabwean flag high,” he said.
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