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Zimbabweans Pay Tribute To Music ‘Icon’ After Funeral

Zimbabweans have paid tribute to musician Stella Chiweshe, who died at the age of 76 and was laid to rest in Harare on Wednesday.

She was internationally renowned for her singing and playing of the mbira – a traditional instrument of the Shona people, which is also known as the thumb piano.

“Go well our Mbira icon,” one person tweeted.

She “defied colonial and traditional norms that were against women playing mbira, her defiance gave way to many women finding their voices in the industry,” the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe tweeted. 

In the 1960s when Chiweshe started to play the mbira, it was considered a taboo for women.

During her career she performed all over the world, including in Asia and Europe.

She also founded the Chivanhu Centre in Zimbabwe to promote traditional music and culture.

A journalist who knew Chiweshe, Ish Mafundikwa, spoke to BBC’s Newsday radio programme. You can listen to Newsday here

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