Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
PRAISE poet Albert Nyathi on Wednesday launched a multi-lingual music album and documentary to raise awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The launch, which coincided with the International Women’s Day celebrations, was held at the American Space in Bulawayo. It was attended by the vice president of the Chiefs Council, Chief Mtshana Khumalo, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo, Pathisa Nyathi, Jeys Marabini, Matesu Dube, Khuliyo and Novuyo Dube among others.
The album has 17 tracks in over 10 languages including Ndebele, Shona, Chewa, Venda, Xhosa, Kalanga and Tonga. It mainly features up-and-coming artistes from Binga, Mbembesi, Hwange, Gwanda, Beitbridge and Chiredzi.
Nyathi, who is the United Nations Women Gender Champion, said: “The album and documentary produced under the United Nations Women Southern Africa Regional Creative Artists Advisory Council is aimed at engaging artistes to play a role in fighting gender based violence in different languages.”
He said it took two years to work on the album as they first had to coach the artistes.
“Many of them (artistes) were singing off key. So we’d to bring two artistes in the morning per day to teach them on Gender Based Violence and then in the afternoon, take them to the studio to record. Most of the artistes had never been in a studio so we had a lot of work to do,” said Nyathi.
The 50 minute documentary titled, I am, because you are chronicles Nyathi’s journey to find musicians for the album while also raising awareness on GBV and talking to community and political leaders on the subject. It was filmed by Tswarelo Mothobe with Patience Phiri and Nyathi writing the scripts and providing voice overs.
After showing people a two minute trailer at the launch, Nyathi said he hoped the documentary would raise awareness.
“Tswarelo who I roped in to help document what I was doing as I was travelling around the country is the one who suggested that we produce a documentary,” said Nyathi.
The documentary was instantly handed over to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission representatives so that they spread the word.
The artiste, who is famed for hit – Senzeni Na – hopes to work on more productions focusing on ending violence against women as the scourge continues to be a challenge in society.