Performance to bring story of ancient African exodus to life
PUBLISHED: 11:13 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:13 19 June 2019
The story of an African tribe's ancient exodus across the continent is told through song and dance in an upcoming performance by the multi-talented Zimbabwean-British musician Anna Mudeka.
Ms Mudeka, who organises the Norfolk World Music Festival - formerly the Southburgh Festival - is bringing the show called Kure Kure / Faraway - to centres across the region including Wells, Holt, Cromer.
Ms Mudeka said the one-woman show chronicled the exodus of her ancestors, the Bantu tribe, across the Tanganika and Baka regions to Zimbabwe around 5,000 years ago.
She said: "I am a proud Bantu, Munhu, Ubuntu - human being. My identity, my history, my ancestral beliefs, my DNA has made me who I am. "I am everything and everyone who has lived before me."
The performance also pays homage to the spiritual deity and she-warrior Nehanda who united the Ndebele and Shona tribes to rise up in the first Chimurenga war against western colonialists in the late 1890s, and whose execution has defined Zimbabwean nationalism ever since.
Ms Mudeka conjures the sensory influence of her grandmother in a deeply personal soundscape, contrasting this with the emotional jolt of moving to a new country and finding herself alone, vulnerable, excited and empowered.
Many of the performances on the tour are accompanied by interactive and immersive workshops where people of all ages and abilities can learn clapping rhythms, shakers and drumming, dance moves, and so experience a true taste of Zimbabwean culture.
Ms Mudeka said: "An invitation to remember ancestors, their wisdom and their stories, these workshops offer an insight into the uplifting and soulful spiritualism of a Bira Shona celebration."
The show is directed by David Farmer, produced by Arts La'Olam and was co-commissioned by Norwich Arts Centre.
The tour has been funded by Arts Council England.
Performances include: Wells Maltings, June 20, 7.30pm; The Auden Theatre, Holt, September 6, 7.30pm; Cloverhill Community Centre, Norwich, October 19, workshop 3.30pm, show 7.pm; Cromer Community Centre, October 22, workshop 2pm, show 7pm; Diss Corn Hall, November 21, workshop 2pm show 7pm.