Woman of Note

Music | By Elton Mjanana, Writer | 05 April 2013
PHOTO: © Tenford Chitanana

For a long time, women in the entertainment industry have been sidelined. Some believe that their lack of progress could be mainly attributed to their lack of unity of purpose in the music industry. Not so in the case of Edith WeUtonga and Kudzai Sevenzo though. The pair has set standards in their respective genres. Whilst Edith has made a mark on the quasi-traditional Afro-fusion/ World beat, Kudzai has cemented her place as a fitting Afro Jazz exponent. Powered by their classy releases – two for Kudzai; her debut album On a Day like this and her latest, Child of Afrika (which features a classic duet with superstar Oliver Mtukudzi) and Edith’s debut album entitled Utonga, their event, Women of Note is set to thrill ardent music lovers!

Realizing that there are not enough platforms to promote or celebrate women and their God – given talent, Kudzai and Edith came up with an action plan; to hold an event every quarter that celebrates women who have excelled in their respective areas. Hence, Woman of Note.

The festival is set to grow, reaching out to other cities in the country and incorporating renowned international female artists. “There are many women who have achieved a lot, and are truly ‘women of note’ yet, they have never been accorded their deserving status. Our aim is to bring to the fore and acknowledge their contribution and let them know that we love and appreciate them!” said Edith WeUtonga. Kudzai, who is equally excited about the event, says “I am thrilled that this is an event by women to celebrate women”.

Kudzai Sevenzo’s debut album On a day like this, released in 2004, earned her a ZIMA nomination, Best New Artist award at the Celebration Music Awards as well as Nescafe’s “Most Inspiring Female of the year” award. Her latest album, an afro-centric sound with a strong jazz influence, is a true reflection of how she has matured over the years. The album has received rave reviews and features a beautiful duet with superstar Oliver Mtukudzi. Kudzai, a former TV presenter on Mnet’s magazine show Studio 53 is also a radio presenter on Sfm and very recently, played the lead role in Rumbi Katedza’s first feature film, Playing Warriors. This will be her debut onscreen appearance. The movie will be released this October.

Edith WeUtonga’s debut album Utonga has received massive airplay and throughout her live performances, it is clear that her following continues to grow. The intriguing bass player has performed at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) where she shared the stage with international groups Seattle –based American group Publish The Quest, with whom she recorded a track that will appear on the soft rock band’s forthcoming album.