Chiweshe was Zimbabwe’s Queen of Mbira: Arts Council

Mbuya Stella Chiweshe

LOCAL arts mother body, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) executive director Nicholas Moyo has described the late mbira songbird Mbuya Stella Chiweshe as Zimbabwe’s Queen of Mbira.

The veteran mbira musician Mbuya Stella Chiweshe succumbed to cancer of the brain yesterday morning at her Kuwadzana home in Harare.

She was 77.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of National Arts Merit Award (Nama) legend Mbuya Stella Rambisai. Her daughter Virgnia Mukwesha-Hetze informed me that Mbuya Chiweshe died peacefully from cancer of the brain at home in Harare this morning,” Moyo said.

“Born on July 8, 1946, in Mujumi Village in Mhondoro, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe was undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s Queen of Mbira and one of the country’s foremost cultural exports.

With her swooping vocals on the mbira, she brought traditional Zimbabwean Shona music to the international stage.”

Moyo said burial arrangements will be announced in due course and mourners were gathered at Mukwesha Homestead in Chinyika, Goromonzi.

With a career spanning over 40 years, Mbuya Chiweshe was a recipient of various local and international awards, including the Billboard Music Award (1993), the NAMA award (2006), the Nama Lifetime Achievement Award (2020), and the Nama Legends Awards (2021).

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