KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
AFTER a busy 2015 in Europe, Germany-based Zambian musician Yvonne Mwale will be heading to Africa for a series of shows in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Tanzania.
Belgian record company Contre Jour, known for managing artistes such as Senegalese singer and guitarist Habib KoitÃ© and Ivorian singer Dobet Gnahoret, booked the award-winning Yvonne for a short Africa tour that keeps her here for approximately one month.
After a short stay in Zambia, Yvonne will head to Kigali, Rwanda where she will link up with her crew members for rehearsals. Thereafter, she will go to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where she will conduct a three-day vocal workshop before performing at the Amani Festival alongside Aly Keita, a Balafon player from Mali now based in Germany, and Joel Sebunjo from Uganda on February 12.
The Amani Music Festival seeks to promote initiatives for peace in the African Great Lakes Region. Amani is the Swahili word for peace as it is believed music soothes the soul and brings people together. Around 25,000 people attended the 2015 edition of the Amani Festival.
After her performance at the festival, the following day, she will head to Kigala for another performance at the Institut Francaise after which she will connect to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for another show.
â€œAfter an amazing 2015 season in Europe, Yvonne Mwale is now ready for another year that will take her career even further. She is starting 2016 with concerts across two continents and has more big plans for the upcoming year,â€ says a statement released by her management from her base in Frankfurt.
â€œAs one of the only few Zambian musicians who have managed to catch the attention of the public as well as the media across Europe; and after completing her summer tour in Europe, where she was backed by Zambian guitar legend Sir Jones and her band from Germany, she brought the year to an end with some festival performances, including a participation at the Salzburg Jazz Festival in Austria.
â€œAnother highlight at the end of the year has been two sold-out shows at the Wiesbaden Kurhaus, starring a full classical orchestra and a choir with more than 100 people on stage. A total of about 2500 people were drawn to the theatre that has given arts a home since 1907. A great experience for Yvonne Mwale as well as the audience!
â€œBut thereâ€™s not much time to rest for Yvonne: She was chosen to perform [yesterday] at the anniversary celebrations of the Frankfurt Brotfabrik â€“ a former factory that serves now as a concert venue â€“ before heading the following day for a concert in the Munich area in Germanyâ€™s south. Just the day after the concert itâ€™s time to get on the aircraft and hit ground on the beloved African continent.â€
When Yvonne gets back to Germany in March, she will hit the studio again to record her new album, a follow-up on Ninkale â€“ Let Me Be, which was well received around the world, even entering various charts. Her new record will be released September 17.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka