Stella Chiweshe

Often called “The Queen of Mbira” Stella Chiweshe is the first female artist who gained prestige and has been honored with recognition in a music tradition that has been dominated by men: Mbira music—known as the backbone of Zimbabwean music. Her Mbira music is a medium to establish contact with the spirits of the deceased ancestors and thus also able to bring about community among the listeners. After Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, she was invited to become a member of the original National Dance Company of Zimbabwe, where she soon took the part of a leading Mbira Solo player, dancer, and actress. She is one of the few musicians in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa who for more than 40 years has been working as a traditional Mbira musician. In 2018, the Hamburg label Glitterbeat released the long-expected album Kasahwa, a collection of Stella Chiweshe's early African singles.