WINDHOEK- Onai Mutizwa, an Afro folk music artist, features the Backstage Theatre tonight starting from eight O’clock (20h00) with the doors opening at seven O’clock (19h00).
The highly talented Onai studied music ethnology in Harare and has made the instrument - she plays the Mbira Nyunga Nyunga, which was made world famous by Dumisani Maraire - her natural accompaniment. Onai learnt the ropes of musical performance with one of the big guns in Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi, with whom she toured internationally in 2008. With her beautiful voice and the soothing sounds of her Mbira, Onai offers a combination of traditional Zimbabwean vocal numbers as well as original compositions.
Her repertoire includes jazzy ballads, Western and African evergreens, from ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ by Johnny Nash to ‘Pata Pata’ by Miriam Makeba. Onai is aptly backed on stage by pianist Kali Casinda, bassist Tayo Casinda and Jesus Lasso on violin.
The Mbira in Zimbabwe serves a dual function, first, as a medium of communication with the spirits of the ancestors and second, as a musical instrument. Use of the instrument is not limited to Zimbabwe – music ethnologists consider it the most original African instrument, featuring throughout the continent, with its shape and name (Likembe, Mbila, Zanza, Kalimba) varying between regions.
The San people in Namibia refer to it as the Dongo. It is constructed of a wooden resonator with heated steal pins that make, depending on the type, anything between five and twenty-eight keys.
Tickets cost N$50 at the door and N$ 40 if purchased in advance at the venue (call Gerald on his cell no 081 3985045).