WeUtonga hogs global limelight 

Source: WeUtonga hogs global limelight –Newsday Zimbabwe

Over the years, the robust musician — who is also the founder and president of Zimbabwe Musicians Union (Zimu) — has distinguished herself as an artiste committed to promoting the working conditions of musicians not only in Zimbabwe, but across the globe.

UNITED KINGDOM-BASED Zimbabwean award-winning Afro-jazz singer and actress Edith WeUtonga, born Edith Katiji, has continued to write her own piece of history in the cut-throat creative industry.

Over the years, the robust musician — who is also the founder and president of Zimbabwe Musicians Union (Zimu) — has distinguished herself as an artiste committed to promoting the working conditions of musicians not only in Zimbabwe, but across the globe.

With exceptional courage and passion, she has been a torch bearer in promoting equality and positioning women in the music industry both on the local and international scenes.

She is one of the few female musicians who play the bass guitar with finesse and has been raising the country’s flag high on different platforms in a male-dominated industry.

About three years ago, Edith WeUtonga scored big when she became the first black woman to be appointed to the International Federation of Musicians (Fim) at a congress held in France.

She was appointed Fim vice-president, becoming the first African woman in the presidium of the international organisation that stands for the protection of the rights of musicians.

With such an honour, she became one of Fim’s five vice-presidents who include Beat Santchi (Switzerland), Anders Laursen (Denmark), Ray Hair (United States) and Horace Trubridge (United Kingdom).

This achievement has resulted in her creating a vast network.

In a latest development, she is basking in the glory of being bestowed with the Finnish Musicians’ Union’s Nyrkki prize for her significant work in the music industry.

Launched in 2021, the Finnish Musicians’ Union rewards activism and actions that promote the cause of music performers.

The award bestowed on Edith WeUtonga at a recent ceremony in Hämeenlinna, Finland was designed by visual artist Jani Leinonen and it was cast according to the model of the fist of the first Nyrkki awardee, musician Aki Hauru.

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Edith WeUtonga, who is still in Finland, said the great honour made her realise that their work is visible and her effort as an individual has not been in vain.

“Imagine that I am a recipient of an award from Finland and I am Zimbabwean. That is a first for me and Zimbabwe at large,” she said.

“We are on a great path and this work we are trying to achieve for our music industry will be marked in history as it lays a foundation for the entire arts sector.”

Describing her creative journey and being one of the five Fim vice-presidents as an eye opener, she added: “It has been an eye opener to the world’s view on music activism and social justice for musicians.

“There is so much more work that lies ahead for Zimu and I have been a happy learner, observer and participant to matters that affect world musically.”

To grow her music career, Edith WeUtonga decided to complement her artistic career with education and is now a holder of a Master of Arts degree in Music in Development as well as a Bachelor of Science in Music Business, Musicology and Technology.

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