First impressions of Anna Mudeka, the Founder and Artistic Director of Tambai Promotions immediately reveal a passionate and charismatic ambassador for the arts and culture of the sub-Saharan continent.
Multi-instrumentalist, actress, singer, writer and educator, she is a polymath who is proud to share the ancestral heritage of her native Zimbabwe through performance and workshops by inviting audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to immerse themselves in the sounds, spiritualism and fables of Africa.
In 2019 Anna performed 45 dates throughout the UK with her one-woman production Kure Kure, Faraway – an epic tale addressing themes of identity, migration, assimilation and empowerment framed in the legends of her Shona ancestors, and her own highly personal story of settling in the UK. Told through music, dance and the traditional ululation of her forebears, she is a highly skilled Djembe and Ngoma drummer and Mbira player (Zimbabwean thumb piano). Her focus is on keeping ancient instruments and techniques alive, particularly in a culture where such traditions are passed down aurally. A large part of the tour involved delivering wrap-around workshops and talks to engage audiences and create shared experiences to inspire following generations to keep these traditions alive.
This was an overwhelming and magnificent introduction to the beautiful music and dance of Zimbabwe, as well as cultural artifacts and historic tales in a solo show by the gifted and beautiful Anna Mudeka. Eastern Daily Press, June 2019 on Kure Kure, Faraway
Most recently, Anna made her debut in London’s West End with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed production of Kunene and the King, performing alongside Anthony Sher and John Kani at the Ambassador Theatre.
Growing theatrical involvement has also been the motivation behind establishing Tambai Theatre, a new strand to her company’s artistic output creating powerful, uncompromising work with a team of fellow artists that places the voices of women, marginalised and minority groups at the heart of ‘Dramaturgy’.