Batsirai Chigama
Penny Yon &
Atiyyah Khan
George Albert Yon

03 08 2021

Batsirai Chigama is a Zimbabwean performer, poet, literary activist and social commentator. Chigama’s debut collection Gather The Children received a National Arts Merit Award NAMA in 2019.  In the same year she was an honorary fellow at the International Writing Programme at Iowa University. Her work with young people has taken her to Denmark and the USA, performing and facilitating creative writing and spoken word workshops in schools.

Penny Yon is a musician and cultural worker, born in Mutare on the eastern border of Zimbabwe. Growing up in a family with a long and rich musical history, she graduated from piano as a child, to guitar and eventually to bass 20 years ago. A member of several bands, she sang and played bass with all-women group Big Sister and afrojazz group Mhepo in the 1990s. Yon went on to sing as a backing vocalist for ‘Anjii’ Greenland, fronted the afrojazz group Maisha for several years, and later joined the cover band Rhythm Refined in Harare.  She has been active in her local community and plays for church fellowship. Since the late 1990s Yon has worked as a cultural producer, at the Zimbabwe National Jazz Festival, Pamberi Trust (Mannenberg Jazz Club and Book Café) in Harare, Nhimbe Trust (Bluez Cafe) in Bulawayo and Kunzwana Trust in Binga.

Atiyyah Khan is a journalist, arts writer, archivist, record collector and events curator based in Cape Town. Since 2007, she has documented arts and culture and has been published in newspapers across South Africa. In 2010, she was awarded the Pulitzer Fellowship earning her an MA in Arts Journalism from the University of Southern California. Khan is the co-founder of the music and art collective Future Nostalgia which hosts listening sessions and gigs around Cape Town. As DJ El Corazon, her sets explore music beyond boundaries forming connections that link South Africa to the rest of the world. She has experimented with self-publishing; her latest zine titled Bismillah references Islam and music in Africa. Currently, she is the Arts and Culture journalist for online publication, The New Frame and hosts a monthly radio show on Worldwide FM.

George Albert Yon was a musician, watchmaker and amateur photographer, creating vivid documentation of the times he lived in. Born in St.Helena in 1916, his family left in the 1920s to travel and live in Beira, Mozambique and then settle in Mutare, Zimbabwe. His father Thomas formed a family band, the Yon’s Family Orchestra - St.Helena in the 1940s, that morphed into variations of members and monikers over time. He worked in the family business, a watch repair shop Timecraft and in his spare time enjoyed astronomy, carpentry and painting. Yon was conscious and outspoken, devoting time to writing and activism up to independence.