Germany-based mbira queen Ambuya Stella Chiweshe will celebrate her 50 years in the music industry tonight at Tanza Centre in Chitungwiza. Ambuya Chiweshe will also be having early celebrations of her 70th birthday on the same day. The mbira queen, who has been in the country since January this year, started her music career in 1966. She said she wants to celebrate the long time she has been in the industry.“I am happy to be alive. I am turning 70 years and I will be celebrating 50 years in the music industry, so there is going to be double celebration on the same day,” she said.
Ambuya Chiweshe, who is set to return to Germany next month, said she has starved her fans and will be in the studio soon.
“It has been a long time since I recorded my last album. I am preparing to release a new album before I leave for Germany next month.”
Mbuya Chiweshe first recorded her music in 1966 and she has concentrated on live shows and released seven albums.
“I recorded my first mbira album ‘Ambuya’ in 1966 and this year marks my 50th anniversary in the music industry. The other albums are ‘Chisi’, ‘Kumusha’, ‘Talking Mbira’, ‘Double Check’, ‘Ndondopetera’ and ‘Chandakapiwa’. I don’t release my music for money but I just record for the people to have the music,” she said.
Ambuya Chiweshe was born on July 8, 1946 in Mujumi Village, Mhondoro, and grew up in Bindura.
Ambuya Stella explained how it started in her music carrier.
“My dream was to be a visual artist doing sculptures and drawing but my mother’s fifth ancestor requested, through spirit medium, for her mbira to be played by her grandchildren and that is when I started playing mbira,” she said.
She explained how happy she is about mbira music.
“I am very happy about this mbira music because when I started there were no mbira groups but now they are plenty even internationally.”
Ambuya Chiweshe has performed numerous times in Germany, Mozambique, Australia, Belgium, England, US, Switzerland, China, India, Netherlands and Orkney Islands among others.
“I participated at the WOMAD festival 1994 in the United States, 1995 I was Australia, in 2006 I performed in Spain and I have been to many other countries since then doing some shows,” she said.
Entertainment manager at Tanza Centre Sarah Maigurira said preparations are at an advanced stage.
“We are now ready for the day. The gig is going to start at 7pm and we are expecting several mbira groups including Nyamasvisva, Zuva Rabuda, Andy Muridzo, Manjenjenje and many others to grace the occasion.”