Zimbabwe’s First Mbira Punk Band Plays Jams At Alliance

By Novell Zwange – Punkalicious! is the talk of town this week as Zimbabwe’s first mbira punk band, Chikwata.263, a collaborative enterprise of the country’s young musicians fusing authentic Zimbabwean material and punk tradition songs, plays at the Alliance Francaise Harare, this Monday 7th of March.

The concert features Afro-punk DJ Tominatom, and it is Chikwata.263’s first headline gig since the band’s formation last year.

Chikwata.263 was formed at The Book Cafe’s Monday night Open Mic sessions in December and has already collaborated with several artists including John Pfumojena, Alexio Kawara, Zimbeats (USA), Andy Brown and has played alongside reggae outfit Mathias Julius & X-VBYZ, as well as the sensational Victoria Falls band Mokoomba.

Chikwata.263, the country’s newest four man band, plays a fusion of mbira, punk, reggae and jazz.

Last week the youthful band debuted with a scintillating performance at the Mannenberg Jazz Club wowing Harare music fans with their ethno-cosmopolitan beats.

The four musicians in the band include Tomasi (punk guitar), Hector Rufaro (lead mbira), Shiloh (bass guitar), and Blessing (drums).

“We’re putting rock effects on mbira, working on the continuity and change of the mbira sound,” said Hector Rufaro, the band’s mbira player.

Tomasi said that the band was trying to craft a new repertoire of music in Zimbabwe utilizing a myriad of local musical influences to give the mbira a new sound. “Once upon a time people said that the spirits will talk through the mbira but they did not listen. Now the spirits are shouting through our music,” Tomasi