All is set for the International Poetry and Music Day dubbed “Long Night of the Poets”, which will be hosted virtually tomorrow in accordance with the Covid-19 restrictions.
The Long Night of the Poets show will feature 27 artists from Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Palestine, India, United States and Zimbabwe.
The programme is part of the extended Africa month colloquia with a focus on the youth, featuring several renowned and emerging voices, including the likes of Makhafula Vilakazi from Soweto, Diana Ferrus, Michael Weeder — the Dean of St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town, Vangile Gantsho, Sibulelo Manamatela, Siya Shezi from Kwazulu Natal, Tade Ipadeola from Nigeria, Mutabaruka from Jamaica, Meena Kandasamy from India to Tony Award winning poet and actor Beau Sia from the USA.
It will also feature collaborations with musicians, including Kamva — the string quartet, Pops Mohammed on the kora with friends, Siya Mthembu from The Brother Moves On, soulful singer Hope Masike from Zimbabwe on the mbira, Kanyi Mavi and Easvesdrop — young women making their mark on the Cape Flats local hip hop scene.
Afrikaans poet Piet Odendaal will also feature among the many other poets and musicians.
In an interview, Masike said she was excited to take part in the virtual show, representing Zimbabwe. “Word to describe that is great! It is always a delight sharing the stage with great artists whose work you also enjoy,” she said.
“I am going to perform one of my songs called ‘Kune mumwe’ from my third album titled ‘The Exorcism of a Spinster’. The song speaks against crimes of passion and Gender Based Violence.
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“It has someone praying, asking God to help them calm down and handle with grace a matter wherein their other half has wronged them.”
Asked what she has been doing during the Covid-19 lockdown, Masike said she was busy with music.
“I finished my second poetry anthology and we are preparing for publication soon. I also finished my album and we are hoping it hits your homes by end of this year. Besides that, I have been taking the time out to let my hair down.”
Masike is a vocalist, mbira player, percussionist, songwriter, fashion designer, painter and dancer.
She started performing professionally in 2008 while she was still studying music in Zimbabwe.
In the same year, she founded her own band.
She fused Zimbabwean traditional instruments (mbira, marimba, ngoma nehosho) with bass, drums, recorder and guitar.
Masike is known as “The Princess of Mbira” and her music has its roots both in traditional and modern African culture and is also the lead singer for transnational band Monoswezi.