A WARD-WINNING poet and book editor, Chirikure Chirikure has organised a massive bash featuring some of Zimbabwe’s top artistes to mark his 60th birthday on Saturday in Harare.
The birthday event is expected to feature Hope Masike, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Albert Nyathi, Okay Machisa, Bira reMbira and upcoming musician Thulani Machisa
Chirikure told the Daily News yesterday that turning 60 was a milestone that deserves to be celebrated in a big way.
“I just thought that 60 is quite a milestone and needs to be celebrated. Friends and family also felt the same. And it’s a blessing to reach this ripe age, despite the numerous challenges,” Chirikure said.
“The concert will also be an opportunity to trace my artistic journey, sharing with the audience the pieces I have been performing in the last 40 or so years,” he said.
In the spirit of the ongoing International Women’s Month, Chirikure has invited his mother and sisters to the bash.
“And it’s also women’s month, and we will be celebrating all the women who have made the 60 years a possibility. My mother, sisters, and others will be in attendance,” he said.
Chirikure — a talented and multi-award winning poet, writer and musician — is one of the pioneers of professional performance poetry in the country.
He rose to prominence in the 1980s with his enlightening poems done in vernacular and English. His first volume of poetry, Rukuvhute received honourable mention in the 1990 Noma Awards.
In recognition of his literary prowess, in 2011 he became a fellow in Germany under the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm (Artists in Berlin Programme).
Last year, Chirikure was selected by the African Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) to spearhead the construction of a community library and resource centre in Gutu, Masvingo. The project — co-led by the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation Dubai Cares, and implemented by the International Publishers Association (IPA) — is meant to help close to 1000 learners in the area with access to books.
Chirikure was one of the five people/organisations chosen in Africa to receive the grants of US$170 000 for the projects which will be funded for four years.
Chirikure received the grant together with organisations with Learners Girls Foundation (Ghana), eKitabu (Kenya), Save the Children Rwanda (Rwanda) and Book Aid International (Tanzania) who will all embark on different empowering projects.