Liberty Dube Entertainment Correspondent
MUTARE-based mbira group Ntswai Ntswai is on an aggressive drive to publicise and market both its brand and music by forging lucrative partnerships with established corporates while putting final touches on its eagerly awaited afro-fusion album. The group, led by Lino Piloto has clinched a mutually beneficial deal with Holiday Inn Mutare that will see them performing at the hotel every Friday.
The band will perform at the hotel’s upmarket bar Foresters between 1900hrs and 0000hrs.
The group boasts of more than a decade of mbira music experience and was a prominent feature in previous editions of the Chibuku Road to Fame competitions.
The group entertains fans with its own famous compositions such as “Nehondo” as well as cover tracks of music greats such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Andy Brown and Chiwoneso Maraire, among others.
In an interview on the sidelines of their sterling performance last Friday, Lino said plans were afoot to release their debut afro-fusion album.
The group, which comprises nine members, four part timers, a trustee and consultant based in the United Kingdom, last year embarked on a mission to internationalise its brand after introducing contemporary instruments such acoustic guitars to enrich their genre.
Their rich and unique traditional presentation has endeared the group to scores of music lovers regionally and internationally.
The hotel official Phylis Sambo said they roped in the mbira ensemble to spice up activities at the hotel and as a way to promote local talent.
“We intend to demystify myths that products at our Foresters Bar are way too expensive.
“The deal creates a win-win situation for both brands as the hotel will also be conducting promotions to market its products, for instance, Castle Larger Happy Hour promotion between 7 pm and 8pm, where beer will be sold at $3 and our Whisky Weekends from Friday to Sunday.
“Ntswai Ntswai has breathed a new lease of life in our quest to transform the bar into a formidable entertainment hub in the city,” she said.