Date:10 June 2021 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Zwido Mashau, née Mpfuni, has come up with an initiative to honour the great female traditional Venda singers of our time, by way of a music concert with the theme Vhembe Divas Live in Concert, which was streamed live on 29 May from the Muvhango complex.
The concert featured Ester Sinyegwe, Esther Badzhi and Maumela Mahuwa, and was made possible by the National Arts Council’s Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP), geared towards job creation and retention initiatives for artists, creatives, heritage sector workers and cultural workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zwido had discovered her own singing talent when she was a girl. In 2014, she released her debut EP titled As I am. Her music is a mixture of genres ranging from traditional Venda, contemporary jazz, rhythm and blues to reggae and soul.
“I chose some of their most popular, and my favourite, songs that I performed with them live on stage. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The concert was mind-blowing!” said Zwido.
“We live-streamed the event in order to reach a wider audience and the video footage will be converted into a documentary, as some of these great female artists have nothing to show for their years of contribution to the music industry or the inspiration they’ve been to younger Afrocentric singers,” she said.
At least 30% of the proceeds of the concert will be donated to the Mphephu Drop-in Centre. “My dream is to continue with this concept - Vhembe Divas in Concert - and have more women on board,” she said.
Left: Zwido Mashau initiated a concert with the theme Vhembe Divas Live in Concert, in honour of female traditional Venda singers. Right: Maumela Mahuwa, one of the great female traditional Venda singers of our time. Picture supplied.
By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.