Berlin, Germany – This year’s WOMEX Award will go to Zanzibar’s
most famous cultural ambassador,
Kidude. In her 90’s now, she started her career as a Taraab singer in the
1920’s. Since then, she not only helped to maintain the cultural heritage, but
also reinvented it, infusing it with local rhythms, Swahili language and matters
of everyday life. She has performed in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Japan
working with a vast range of artists.
Coming from a short tour of Europe, Bi Kidude will join WOMEX participants to
receive the WOMEX Award 2005 at The Sage Gateshead on Sunday, October 30.
The celebration starts at noon. World music journalist Banning Eyre will do the
tribute to the woman whose “energy, humanity and achievement through a
century of turbulent history in East Africa, has made her an inspiration to all
Tanzanians, all Africans, and all of us“.The WOMEX Award gala will also shortly introduce the documentary “As Old
As My Tongue. The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude“, produced by Screenstation in
collaboration with Busara Promotions due for festival release in 2006. Gracing
the Award ceremony will be the living legend of Middle Eastern piano, official
WOMEX Showcase artist
Maurice El Medioni.
Another chance to meet Zanzibar’s original barefoot diva at WOMEX will be the
interview and Q&A session with WOMEX Jury member Rita Ray who
invites us to take a closer look on Bi Kidude’s remarkable story. The session
takes place on Sat 29 October from 11:00 – 11:45 in The Barbour Room at The Sage
Gateshead and will be translated by Rita’s fellow Jury member Yusuf Mahmoud.
In 2006, Bi Kidude will not only be present with the above mentioned
documentary, but Buda Musique will also release the album Zanzibara 4: Bi
Kidude, produced by Jahazi Media. It will contain songs recorded between
1988 and 2005 by GlobeStyle, Piranha Musik and Jahazi Media and include the
documentary trailer of “As Old As My Tongue“. The release will be
complemented by a tour in summer 2006.
[Photo courtesy of Busara Promotions].