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The name Cuthbert Maziwa whistles clearly and ululates loudly in most Zimbabwean artists ears. Maziwa is a renowned a multi genre Zimbabwean musician, artist and singer, an acclaimed guitar stringer, accomplished arts administrator and a veteran Arts and Culture Festival Curator. He is an expert in creating, developing and curating arts ideas into living creative testimonies. The legend has been at helm of the National Arts of Zimbabwe an arts regulatory  body in Zimbabwe , at  the epicenter of turning around the Murehwa Arts Culture Centre, a UNESCO recognized and internationally renowned arts and cultural heritage hub in Zimbabwe famed of its decorated cultural dances , on top of them all being Jerusarema mbende also UNESCO certified. For years Legendary Maziwa has been coordinating and curating the Mashonaland East Cultural Arts Festival concurrently with Jerusarema Mbende Festival. AMAZING. Maziwa is famed   of founding the globally profiled music arts organization, Music Crossroads that has been now turned into a full music and arts school. The prolific Maziwa is unstoppable. His fervent passion for arts is remarkable. His footprints are undetectable. He was part of legends who realized the need to award dancing troupes and young traditional musicians usually sidelined to the peripheral edges of arts opportunities, so they initiated Chibuku Neshamwari Arts Festival and that awarding festival has created a lot of promising talent and has created livelihoods for many artists and their families. Currently ,Cuthbert Maziwa is Executive Director National   Training and Conference of Arts in Zimbabwe, NATCAZ, a non-governmental organization platform which is aimed and dedicated to the growth of arts and cultural industries in Zimbabwe. TIME OF THE LEGEND is overjoyed to feature a doyen of Zimbabwean music, veteran of cultural arts practice, a well-traveled cultural programs administrator   and a multi- gifted arts festivals curator Cuthbert Maziwa-( Blurb by Mbizo CHIRASHA)

 

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 VETERAN MUSIC ARTIST MAZIWA AND HIS JOURNEY OF RESILIENCE

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Cuthbert Maziwa was born on 9 October 1954 in Murewa District at Murewa Hospital. His father Jackson Maziwa who was also a musician worked in Harare and stayed in Joburg Lines, what is now known as Mbare High Density Suburb. Cuthbert stayed in Murewa at Muchinjike with his mother Harusekanwe together with his paternal grandparents Shereni (Grandpa) and Ganmbanga (Grandma) until the age of 6 before he moved to Gutsa in Domboshava to once again stay with his maternal grandparents where he then did his first year in Primary School at Nyamande Primary School. During this time his mother then moved to Salisbury in Highfield to join her husband. At the age of 7 Cuthbert moved to Highfield in Salisbury (now Harare) in the then Rhodesia to continue with his education. He completed his primary education at Kudzanayi Primary School in Highfield and was immediately enrolled at Highfield Secondary School where he completed his Secondary School Education. Meanwhile Cuthbert had learned to play a 4 string Banjo and mastered Jiti Songs whilst still in Domboshava at a tender age. He used to play African Drums during ceremonies. Country folk used to celebrate the coming of the full moon and would dance throughout the night. The whole clan in the village in Domboshava would gather to sing and dance to the beat of the African Drums. Cuthbert because of influence from his late cousin Hilton Maziwa, developed a unique way of playing the African drum but also started making Banjo guitars from gourds and broken pots by stretching goat skins to improve resonation. During his Secondary School days because of the influence of Laban Kandi (the former Dynamos Goal keeper) Cuthbert was introduced to soccer, painting, sculptor and improvising movie projectors. The hobby then was to watch Western movies and Cuthbert admired those that played acoustic guitars. During Secondary School days, apart from playing soccer and operating the school reel to reel film projector, Cuthbert developed a liking for Rock and Roll and Pop Records by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Carlos Santana, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton, Ten Years After, Toto, Free, Thin Lizzy, and Jimi Hendrix just to name a few. During those days in Rhodesia, prominent groups were The Sound Effects who later became Doctor Footswitch, Zebrons, Rhythm and Blues (who later became The Pied Pipers). Cuthbert had no idea that he would start his own band.

IMG-20200806-WA0005Sometime long ago in mid 70s, Cuthbert Maziwa and his  band*

Bulawayo also produced its own bands such as Wells Fargo, Eye of Liberty, Stars of Liberty, just to name a few. Mutare had the likes of Sound Power, Santana, Sweet Charity, Farai and Quinton Malianga of 2Dee Sounds who all became household names. All these bands then relocated to Salisbury where there was a market and used to play at Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield, Salisbury. Gwanzura Stadium was a very popular venue for festivals and these festivals inspired Cuthbert to form his own outfit. Cuthbert had been noticed by a French lady teacher (Mrs Gunea) who conducted the school choir during morning assemblies. Through a Social Welfare Officer Mr Kabasa who managed the Zimbabwe Community Hall, Cuthbert got access to proper acoustic guitars which he then used to play to accompany Mrs Gunea’s piano during the school assemblies and gatherings and as a result Mrs Gunea then bought Cuthbert his first box guitar which Cuthbert’s father shattered beyond repair with an axe. However, Mrs Gunea bought another guitar which she brought directly to Cuthbert’s father. She also managed to convince him that perhaps God had provided this path/destiny for his son.  Jackson (Cuthbert’s father) agreed to let him carry on playing the guitar. Cuthbert formed the Eye Q Band in 1975 with members such as Herrington Nyamariva (a school mate) on bass; Phinias Marumahoko (Four Aces David Marumahoko’s brother) on drums and vocals Solomon Chiweshe on keyboard and vocals who was also Phinias’s nephew and Cuthbert lead guitar. The band quickly broke up as Solomon Chiweshe was taken by his uncle (David Marumahoko of Four Aces) to form the Aces Wild Flower. Manu Kambani the lead guitarist of Doctor Footswitch became ill when they had a show at Rugare Hall near Kambuzuma and it was difficult for the band to cancel the show so Dzenyama (the band owner) asked Cuthbert to assist on that show. Cuthbert managed to captivate the audience who were left asking for more. Dzenyama gave Cuthbert an electric guitar (a Fender Jazz Master) and from then on Cuthbert never looked back. Herrington got jailed for possessing Marijuana and was replaced by Masimba Samushonga (bass). The band’s popularity and support grew in Highfield and gigs at Mushandira Pamwe Hotel led to the band growing stronger and stronger. The band had a brief stint with Fred Zindi and one Stanely who used to play with a group called Dead Civilization which Laban Kandi had joined and later changed its name to Mandebvu. Stanely left the group to move to Victoria Falls with his original group but then Masimba had matured and matured greatly on bass. It was during a show in Mabvuku that Farai Muringapi joined the group leaving Phinias to concentrate on vocals. Because of illness Phinias dropped out and Cuthbert was forced by circumstances to try vocals.

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Solomon Chiweshe had to be recalled to join the band when 12 bands had to sweat it out in Mutare at the 2000 sitter Sakubva Beit Hall where a Band’s Competition was held sponsored by Lever Brothers Pvt Ltd. Eye Q took the 2nd Prize after Sweet Charity (an Indian Group) which came 1st. After this performance Solomon Chiweshe left again since he had to take care of his business. Farai, Masimba and Cuthbert carried on and the group had by now moved its rehearsals from Zimbabwe Community Hall to Cecil Jennings Hall were all political meetings were held. Eye Q shared a rehearsal room with the late Safirio Madzikatire, a famous comedian. Cuthbert gradually turned the group away from Cover Songs to play its own compositions. The group practiced so hard but could not get a recording contract. The other problem was rehearsal equipment which had to be hired. In most cases a dry rehearsal would be employed. The group went 29 times to the then Teal Record Company now Gramma Records but could not secure a contract. There was only one producer Crispen Matema and his decision was final. Cuthbert did not lose hope. He thought of approaching the Directors of the Company and Tony Rivert one of the Directors asked for a demo tape and the Eye Q Band made a breakthrough. Please The Nation was released in 1976. Because of the political climate that did not allow certain words that talked of freedom and fairness, some words were altered in the studio and without proper rehearsal the Seven Single was recorded. Eye Q’s thrust was to educate the masses on social and political issues and hence the song Rock ‘N Roll Soul (Supposed to be Rock ‘N Roll Freedom). For instance the lyrics “God’s Sword would take care of those sinners” meant the Apartheid Proponents and the oppressors be they black or white. After Please the Nation came Eniweth, Rock ‘n Roll Soul and Widow. Crispen Matema then became a good friend and bought the group a Bass Guitar Amp and Speaker. The group became a household name in Rhodesia and the Rhodesian Special Branch planted informers in all recording sessions to censor all recordings. A strong fan and supporter of Cuthbert and the group Eye Q was his mother, Harusekanwe, who manned the gates during the shows and collected the gate takings. She could be seen dancing away to the music during the shows. Eye Q was joined by Blessing Munakandafa and proceeded to record the Album Beginning before breaking up in 1978 when Blessing joined the Liberation Struggle.

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Cuthbert revived the group with new members Bensen and Moses to record the Single Rock ‘n Roll Band in the 1980s. In 1995 Cuthbert left Zimbabwe for Canada to pursue studies at the Grant MacEwen University (Edmonton, Alberta Province). Upon his return he joined the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe as a Principal Program Officer. Cuthbert became the first Chairman of the Music Crossroads, a talent identification program for upcoming artists. Together with Amen Makonese, Cuthbert spearheaded the establishment of Chibuku Road to Fame in 2000 a Delta Beverages and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Program. Because of efforts by Mathew Shechmeister and Now and Again Records (USA) the band has regrouped to continue its recordings.

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                                                                 LEGEND  CUTHBERT MAZIWA

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CUTHBERT MAZIWA attended the MacEwan University in Edmonton Alberta Province Canada where he graduated as an Arts Administrator. He has been instrumental in the establishment of the Music Cross Program in Zimbabwe, Established the Chibuku Road to Fame whilst he was working for the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe which he joined from the Ministry of Education Sport Arts and Culture in 1994. Whilst at National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, he was also instrumental in the establishment of the National Arts Merit Awards and the National Jikinya Primary Schools Dance Festival which has helped develop the dance at a tender age. Cuthbert Maziwa’s music career dates back to 1976 when he was one of the first African musician to record his first single “Please the Nation” that sold gold. He followed this up with the Album “Begining” which earned the group as the one of the biggest rock groups in Zimbabwe. Having established the National Training and Conference of Zimbabwe (NATCAZ) in 1994 which then got registered in 2004 by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Cuthbert left the NACZ to join NATCAZ which focused more on youth programs. Cuthbert left the National Arts Council after attaining a managerial role to run the only Culture Centre built in Zimbabwe. He then established the Mbende Jerusarema project a dance proclaimed by UNESCO as A Master Piece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage. Cuthbert then introduced the Mashonaland East Cultural Festival.

 

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             MEET THE TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC Chronicler

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Mbizo CHIRASHA – UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist. 2020 Free Speech Fellow at PEN Deutschland.2020 Poet in Residence of the Fictional Café . 2019 African Fellow of the Ihraf.org.Contributing Writer at Monk Arts and Soul Magazine . Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie at Bezine Arts and Humanities Magazine and The Poet A Day. Featured Poetry Artist at WorlBeyondWar.Org.Arts Features and Political commentary Writer at Cultural Weekly. Featured African Writer at Demer Press International Poetry Series . Featured African Performance Poet at 2020 Medellin International Poetry Festival. Featured Poet/Writer at INKSWEATAND TEARS Journal, Sentinel UK , Wrath-bearing Tree- USA , FemAsia Magazine -UK. Soutrhern Africa Poet  at 2020Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín.2019 Live Literature Hub Curator/Producer at Sotambe International Film Arts FESTIVAL. 2009 Poet in Residence at International Africa Culture and Development, ICACD). 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate of ZimBookFair to Goteborg International Book Fair and was  the Spokenword Artist at SIDA African Pavilion . Co-Editor of a three Languages International collection STREET VOICES with prominent Germany Author Andreas Weiland . Featured Poet at Cervena Barva Press Newsletter. Literary Arts and Poetry Contributor to the Zimbabwean Voice of the Voiceless Newspaper. African Participant to the World Poetry Almanac Book Series in Mongolia. Resident Coordinator for 100 Thousand POETS for Peace- Zimbabwe. Founder and Creative Director at GirlChildcreativity Project . Writer in Residence. Global LITERARY Arts Projects Influencer. Published Author and International Acclaimed Poet. Chronicler and Publisher , AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN. Chief Editor at TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC. Projects Curator at WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESSChief Influencer at Brave Voices Poetry JournalAuthor and Editor at Porcupine Quill.

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TIME  OF THE  POET REPUBLIC- An Internet based  Writers  Center,  Archiving Theme based Digital Poetry Anthologies and  publishing Iconic Poets ,Writers and Artists from around the globe. TIME OF POET REPUBLIC was  founded  by  UNESCO-RILA Affliate ARTIST. Freedom of SPEECH Fellow PEN-Zentrum Deutschland.2019 African FELLOW ihraf.org and  Acclaimed LiteraryArtDiplomatie,Mbizo CHIRASHAwriterdesk

 

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