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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: February 17, 2003
Volume 38, Number 14

Zimbabwean 'mbira queen' to lecture at Center for the Arts

Internationally recognized Zimbabwean musician Stella Chiweshe will give a free lecture and performance at UNM on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts, rm. B-017.

Widely known as “the mbira queen of Zimbabwe,” Chiweshe is the first female artist to gain prestige as a performer of the mbira, an instrument at the backbone of Zimbabwean music, and to be honored for participating in this music tradition historically dominated by males. She is among a handful of female musicians in Zimbabwe and South Africa who specialize in the genre.

Chiweshe dealt with the former Rhodesian apartheid system and was part of the independence movement that created Zimbabwe.

“The colonial government banned the mbira. Musicians performing the mbira were imprisoned. Stella Chiweshe played anyway and went underground. Independence came in the late 1970s and she was able to perform and record in public,” said Maria Williams, associate director for the UNM Arts of the Americas Institute.

For information, call the Arts of the Americas Institute, 277-2286.