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NAMA Honours Chiwonisa Maraire

The National Arts Merit Awards through Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation, and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe yesterday handed over a portrait of Mbira Queen, Chiwoniso Maraire to her daughter Chengeto Brown in honour of her work and service to the nation.

The portrait was done by Alfred Masunda and has a headline message which reads, “mbira yedu, our pride.”

In her memory, on the day of the awards show, which took place on the 26th of February 2022, the audience and the country at large was treated to some Mbira performance by Millicent “Mimmie” Chigariro who sang the late Mbira Queen’s hits Ivai Nesu Mwari Baba and Vana Vanogwara.

“The Mbira rendition was also reached upon after recognizing how the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) included the art of crafting and playing mbira on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. UNESCO noted that the art of crafting and playing mbira plays a key role in our community,” a statement from NAMA reads.

The 15th of March is a significant day to the Maraire and the Brown families as it is also the late Andy Brown, Maraire’s ex-husband’s birthday. Meanwhile, today marks a decade since his death back in 2012.

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