|Book Cafe welcomes PRUDENCE, Sat 12 Nov|
|Events - 2009|
|Thursday, 03 November 2011 20:14|
Book Café welcomes Prudence - Sat 12 Nov 2011, 8pm
Darling of the Zimbabwean stage, the hugely popular singer, songwriter, jazzist and actor PRUDENCE KATOMENI-MBOFANA breaks out on The Book Café stage on Saturday 12 November, with her new ensemble and a delivery of hot originals from her debut solo album ‘Prudence’.
Launched in October in Harare, ‘Prudence’ is the first solo offering from this gifted young woman, the first opportunity to experience her many different facets, a culmination of her artistic experiences so far, which have led her down a colourful path in music, stage and film from her very young days.
Along the way she has become a household name in Zimbabwe, performing over the years in countless clubs, festivals, and exclusive corporate events with some of Zimbabwe’s top artists, the likes of Jazz Invitation and many more. She has shared stages with acclaimed African artists, travelled widely in the region including somewhat off-road trips to Botswana and Namibia, toured in France with the famous jazz uncles ‘The Cool Crooners’, performed in Norway over the last four years, and most recently with the women’s ensemble ‘WoCalling’ this September.
This chequered musical journey provides the DNA for the new album, 3 years in the making, which in spite of her strong jazz background, Prudence says “I love jazz, but…. this is not just jazz, it touches many different genres …It’s who I am; it’s me.”
The album is already receiving good airplay, a few favourites being ‘Mayayarira’ (talking drum) inspired by Mali music, mixed with the traditional Zimbabwean ‘chokoto’ drumming pattern, and a call to ‘count your blessings and be thankful’. ‘Emancipation’ has a strong reggae influence with which Prudence grew up in the family home, and ‘Bhuku’ (book!) is more soulful with the jazz influence coming through. ‘Baba Bhoyi’ (baby daddy) talks of a two-way partnership and family building. Composed by songwriter Robert Manthenga, the song is re-arranged together with Prudence with some surprising brass elements added!Background
Prudence Katomeni (sometimes spelled Katomene) is a name well known to Zimbabweans who have tracked her progress on the arts scene through the years, from the tender age of 13, to her first recording in 1993 on Albert Nyathi’s ‘Senzenina’, and in the same year, 3 regional awards for her acting role in the Zimbabwean film ‘More Time’.
By 1998 Prudence was performing opening acts with other Zimbabwean artists for world renowned groups including The Three Degrees, Miriam Makeba and a duet with Yvonne Chaka Chaka. She toured Europe, Canada and the US, performing with Zimbabwe’s own senior gentlemen The Cool Crooners sharing the stage at separate performances with Manu Dibango (sax/Cameroon), Mariam and Amadou (Mali), Mori Kante (Cameroon), Meshell Ndegeocello (jazz/vocal/bass US), and before the French Senate in 2005 for the ‘Reporters without Borders’ book launch.
Alongside a hectic performance schedule, Prudence was one of the music directors for the opening of HIFA 2007, and in 2008 worked with Jazz Invitation and Oliver Mtukudzi among others; with Tsitsi Dangarembga and Kelly Rusike on the soundtrack for the short film ‘Kare Kare Zvako’. In 2008 she also performed in Namibia for the first time with Jazz invitation, and featured as solo soprano for ‘ 200 Years of Freedom’ celebrated in Harare with Duke Ellington’s ‘Sacred Concert’ , backed by big band ‘Trio Arctic’, comprising Zimbabwean and Norwegian musicians, and the 50-strong Zimbabwe College of Music Choir.
In 2009 Prudence graduated from the Zimbabwe College of Music with a BA in Jazz Music, a demanding 3-year course which raised her to a new level of music. Since then, she has performed widely in Zimbabwe, and also in Norway with the Norwegian Army Band in 2009 and 2010, and again in 2011 with 4 concerts in Norway and Germany with ‘WoCalling’, a women’s ensemble born in Zimbabwe. She delivered her third son in March 2011, performed at the National Theatre of Namibia in ‘A Sista Thang’ in August, featured in the film ‘Playing Warriors’ by Rumbi Katedza which premiered in Harare in October, and launched the debut album ‘Prudence’ in the same month – an astonishing record to say the least!
Since 2006 Prudence has participated in Pamberi Trust’s FLAME project (Female Literary Arts & Music Enterprise) which seeks to help promote female artists into the mainstream of the arts in Zimbabwe, through a series of workshops and live events, sponsored by Dutch agency HIVOS.
Arts Administrator Penny Yon welcomed Prudence’ involvement in the project. She said “Prudence is a great singer, and one who will go far in the world, delivering a dynamic performance and presenting herself and her country with dignity wherever she goes. She is a good role model for young women artists of Zimbabwe, who can track her progress from a young girl entering the arts industry, surviving unscathed, and moving on to bigger and better things – performing locally and internationally, studying, composing, directing, recording. AND she’s a busy wife and mum! We’re proud of her achievements and grateful for her involvement with the FLAME project, where her influence on emerging artists is so strong and valuable”.