Sistaz Open Mic RETURNS


Sistaz Open Mic, a free monthly gig for women artists from diverse disciplines, will bounce back on Saturday for the first time since the closure of the Book Café in early June.

Over 20 artistes from arts genres that include dance, poetry, theatre, music and comedy will perform between 2pm and 7pm on the Pamberi Stage which was previously called the Book Café Garden Stage.

The Sistaz Open Mic gig was initiated by arts development organisation Pamberi Trust in 2006 using the Book Café as the venue.

Rising Afro-fusion artiste Tina Watyoka will be the main performer on Saturday at the event that has been graced by celebrated artistes like Dudu Manhenga, Hope Masike, Edith Katiji, Tariro neGitare and the late Chiwoniso Maraire.

Tina, a Zimbabwe College of Music graduate, who is currently studying for an honours degree in music and musicology at Midlands State University, will perform at the Sistaz Open Mic “after-party” from  5:30pm to 7pm.

The young musician, who launched her career on the Sistaz Open Mic a few years ago, released her debut  album Introducing Tina in 2010 and returned with a second offering titled  Ndoita Sei? in February  last year. She rose to become a notable performer at the now-defunct Book Café where she shared the stage with household names such as Victor Kunonga and Alexio Kawara, who she names as valuable mentors in her music career.

Last year, Tina teamed up with Edith WeUtonga and Rute Mbangwa to form an exciting cultural collaboration titled Amawala which was presented in Harare in July and August before being taken to Intwasa Arts Festival Bulawayo in September last year.

The Sistaz Open Mic event is the second event to be held by Pamberi Trust since the closure of the Book Café. Last Saturday they hosted an International Youth Day commemorative gig which featured Harare-based jazz group Jam Signal, The Outfit, a jazz side from Bulawayo as well as Knight Sounds from Glendale.

According to Pamberi Trust Arts Administrator Penny Yon, her arts organisation has come back for good.

“We are delighted to be able to maintain the platform for artists in the back garden of 139 Samora/6th Street after this quiet period. Thanks to all who have supported us over the intervening months. The Saturday event offers free entrance for all, and we call on all family of artists to come out and celebrate. This space is your space,” she said.