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Chioniso Maraire-greatest of all Zimbabwean female musicians-Rest in Peace

Zimbabwe has once again lost one of the best female musicians of all time. Her death comes as a shock to many including Muzvare Betty Makoni. In honour of her work she has created this post to thank Chioniso for inspiring many women and girls. She inspired many men and boys. To be a female artist is not easy at all. Chioniso played a traditional instrument called Mbira and it is very rare for a woman to perfect this instrument as she did. History of Zimbabwe should always include women in arts like her.

Muzvare Betty Makoni joins Zimbabweans and the whole world  in passing condolences and posted this via her FB page `The story of Chioniso Maraire is very touching. I am moved. Her life could have been saved. Rest in peace. I honour female artists and I respect their struggles. Thank you for inspiring us with music. This is legacy that will be passed on`

The daughter of Zimbabwean artist Dumisani Maraire, singer/mbira player Chiwoniso Maraire specializes in an R&B-drenched style of African pop. But the vocalist, who goes by her first name professionally, wasn’t actually born in Africa.

Chiwoniso Maraire (5 March 1976 – 24 July 2013) was an accomplished singer, songwriter, and exponent of Zimbabwean mbira music. She was the daughter of the late renowned Zimbabwean mbira player and teacher Dumisani Maraire. She spent the first seven years of her life away from her homeland, Zimbabwe, as her father had moved the family to Washington State in the U.S. in 1970 to pursue a degree in Ethnomusicology. On her return to Zimbabwe she attended Mutare Girls’ High School.

Chiwoniso played a role as one of the most revolutionary mbira players crossing all musical borders with the instrument inspiring young Zimbabweans to play the mbira in a more modern and contemporary way. She did collaborations with countless musicians and artists from across the world.

On the album Ancient Voices (produced 1995) she melded the conventional and modern, sang in English and African languages, and used contemporary instruments and traditional African instruments such as the mbira. She learned how to play the instrument despite the fact that traditionally, women in Zimbabwe were not permitted to play it. The mbira, she said, “Is like a large xylophone. It is everywhere in Africa under different names: sanza, kalimba, etc. For us in Zimbabwe it is the name for many string instruments. There are many kinds of mbiras. The one that I play is called the nyunga nyunga, which means sparkle-sparkle.”

From Her Friend via Gender Forum Group on FB- ‘Amai fambai zvakanaka’, RIP Chiwoniso. Not much has been written about Mai Chi, as Linda was popularly known. She was a Development Worker, as most of us here are, as well as a mbira player. Her area was Early Childhood Education. She was one of the pioneers is development of the ECE curriculum with co-authored under SCF (US). She married early (in Form 4) and died young. RIP Maraire women.

Betty Joins US activists to Push for IVAWA

Campaigns to have International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) enacted into law have intensified with Betty Makoni, CNN Hero 2009 for `Protecting the Powerless` joining Women Thrive Worldwide and millions of campaigners in the US on Congressional Briefing on Violence Against Women scheduled for September 16th 2010 at Capitol Hill in Washington DC .

Recent events in Africa where a seven year old girl was forced to marry and where a 14 year old girl had her ears and fingers sliced off by her father in law in Tanzania for playing out with friends and shunning her role of being a wife are clearly some testimonies Betty Makoni will brief the congress about.

Herself a victim of rape at age 6, Betty Makoni, rescued over 35000 girls in Zimbabwe raped mostly because of the myth that virgins cure HIV and AIDS. Her innovative strategy to transform victims into survivors and leaders walking in the fullness of their potential has been globally awarded .If IVAWA is enacted into law, the US will support grassroots organisations for women and girls like Girl Child Network to implement projects to eliminate violence against women and girls.

“I am calling upon every man ,woman, boy and girl to come on board and support enactment of IVAWA into law. I hail efforts by Women Thrive Worldwide and many other activists who have been so thoughtful. With what is currently going on in the DRC where babies have been raped and women used as weapons of war , IVAWA will go a long way in saving lives `,said Betty Makoni who will be on a two week long tour of USA educating Congressmen and women about why it is critical to enact IVAWA.

In some latest developments, a number of renowned gender activists including lawyers, journalists ,musicians and academics in Africa have thrown their weight behind Betty Makoni`s road to the US congress to campaign for IVAWA to be enacted .

Renowned female protest musician ,Vio Mak from Zimbabwe has produced a debut child sexual abuse video summarising gross violations of girls rights in Africa .It is estimated millions of girls have lost their lives in what is believed to be a silent genocide in the home through harmful cultural practices like female genital mutilation ,rape ,forced marriage ,physical beatings ,accusations of witchcraft and this has undermined the full physical and spiritual development of a girl into a woman leader walking in the fullness of her potential .The number of women and girls who have died as a result of violence is estimated to be over 30 million per year worldwide.

Shame on Detractors of Your Work Betty Makoni

Hi Betty

I was sad to read your story and as a person who has gone through what you went through although the difference is that I was destroyed by relatives. I would like to let you know one thing that has destroyed Africa is exactly the same thing that I find repeated in your case.

By failing to disclose the names of people that did this bad thing to you there is no positive contribution we will make to the society as we are bound to feel sorry for you whiles at the same time you are protecting those who do not deserve this protection.

In life there no point in failing to name and shame people like the one who failed and nearly destroyed your life. Had you died out of their actions your family would lost a dear mother, wife and those that benefited from your work would have also suffered serious emotional distress like you saw on Tare.

It is my strong belief that these women who did this to you if they did not personally apologies to you for their actions then they do not deserve the protection from you and the media unless there is a clear judicial prejudice.

Protecting the identity of these women amounts to complicity in any other crimes and smear campaigns they will engage in future, the results of which may turn out disastrous.

There is no morality on protecting the actions of the devil, these women should have taken the stand to make a public apology to you and the public as a sign of showing remorse to all those they lied to and also caused suffering.

This one reason Why Africa as a continent has failed to develop because we allow evil to spread its wings for fear of curbing its growth.

We will never change the behaviours of our people when we protect the evil and persecute the innocent and successful owing to our jealousy and lack of knowledge of what works in life.

I wish if all those that were part of this evil would be made to explain why they found necessary to spoil your work when you are well perceived public figure.

You are free to publicise my email and I am willing to walk the path of shaming evil with you and anyone else who see reason to promote the correct values in our society.