Musician Mbuya Stella Chiweshe dies
Harare (New Ziana) – Prominent female mbira musician, Stella Chiweshe died on Friday after a battle with brain cancer.
Popularly known as ‘Mbuya’ Chiweshe, she died at her home in Harare, aged 77.
Announcing the death, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NAMA) director, Nicholas Moyo said Chiweshe was one of the country’s biggest music ambassadors and would be sorely missed.
She popularised Zimbabwe’s traditional mbira music genre internationally, particularly in Europe.
Chiweshe was most prolific in music in the 1980s and 1990s, where at one time she was based in Germany and vowed audiences with her deep, African musical voice.
“It is with a heavy heart that l announce the passing of NAMA legend Mbuya Stella Rambisai Chiweshe 77”.
“Her Daughter Virginia Mukwesha Hetze informed me that Mbuya Chiweshe died peacefully from cancer of the brain at home in Harare this morning (Friday),” Moyo said.
“Born on the 8th of July 1946, in Mujumi Village in Mhondoro, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe was undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s Queen of Mbira and one of the country’s foremost cultural exports. With her swooping vocals on the mbira, she brought traditional Zimbabwean Shona music to the international stage”.
“With a career spanning over 40 years, Mbuya Chiweshe was a recipient of various local and international awards, including the Billboard Music Award (1993), the NAMA (2006), the NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award (2020), and the NAMA Legends Awards (2021)”.
Burial arrangements are yet to be announced, but mourners are gathered at Mukwesha Homestead in Chinyika, Goromonzi.