Goma Ra Kimbi
Preparation and libretto text, dramaturgy, stage design and costumes: Shangazi Masika
Music, libretto preparation, dramaturgy, choreography: Alicja Pilarczyk
Performed by Tumaini Choir
and Euphemia Nyamusi, Faith Gikenyi, Petronilah Sharon, Joseph Mugalla, Maxwell Luvonga, Benoni Ouma, Ken Kurt Stoll
audio recording: Pole Flavio
Alicja Pilarczyk and Shangazi Masika created an opera based on the oral histories of Kenyan women. The duo set a series of Masika’s poems about the everyday life of Kenyan women and sung by the Tumaini choir made up of women from local villages to a score written by Pilaczyk that features elements of rap, pop and classical music styles. Sung by the Tumaini choir made up of women from local villages and danced to an accompaniment of handmade rattles, Gama Ra Kimbi (Woman Power) reflects the important role that storytelling plays in the life of the tribe.
On the surface, Constance Beja Masika is an accomplished Poet, altrurist, fashion designer, and motivational speaker, just to mention a few. Popularly known as Shangazi (Aunty) Masika, the 33 year old Poet caters for major Cultural events across the Coastal region of Kenya, and Kilifi County is where she resides and also her place of birth. Being a “hando” ambassador calls for dedication and determination whereby she is expected to represent and promote her Mijikenda Culture in so many ways, which she does so perfectly. She has won two trophies as best cultural & artistic group whereby she was the team leader of the Kaloleni Sub-County Women’s group. She holds a Degree in Sales & Marketing from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT). She is the founder of “Kikwetu Kiafrika” which deals with decors, fashion, coastal delicacies, photography, beadwork etc. In Kilifi, cases of early marriages are on a rise; so she came up with an initiative called “NIACHIE NIKOMAE” (let me grow) to enlighten the young girls and males from immoral practices. ‘Akaza ana manabanda MIDZI’ (daughters in laws are splitting families) a very famous poem by her is one of the most influential GIRIAMA poem on Youtube, as well as the local mainstream media. Most of her works are well detailed in her social media accounts SHANGAZI MASIKA Facebook, Instagram, YouTube & Twitter. She intends to have a collection of the Mijikenda arts including poems, songs, traditional attires, and the local creative masterpieces to the global market by proper marketing, promotion, and mobilization of resources from well-wishers, investors, corporations, and the Kenyan government at large.
Alicja Pilarczyk is a Polish violinist and interpreter of new music. She pursued studies in Warsaw (UMFC), Bern (HKB), Frankfurt (IEMA) and, finally, Basel (FHNW) where she recently lives.
Alicja performs as a soloist and chamber musician and is often involved in creative interdisciplinary projects with dance companies, theatres, or visual artists. Recently she is working on her independent project with a dancer and multimedia artist.
In 2019, as a member and the founder of Concept Store Quartet, she was awarded 1st Prize and Audience Prize at Nicati Competition in Bern (CH). The quartet concentrates on premiering and commissioning new pieces written especially for their unconventional instrumental set up (violin, saxophone, accordion and percussion). Together with the Quartet Alicja curates a series of concerts called Landscapes. Moreover, she regularly performs with Ensemble Neuverband, Sinfonietta Basel, and as a guest musician with Ligeti Quartet, Ensemble Riot, or Ensemble Modern Orchestra. In recent years she was invited to play on festivals such as Huddersfield Festival, Warsaw Autumn, Acht Brücken, Gaudeamus, Manifeste, Ruhrtriennale, Lucerne Festival, and others.
Active as an orchestra violinist, member of Zürcher Symphoniker and previously Berliner Symphoniker, Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus and Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, she has performed in most important concert halls in Europe, South-East Asia, and Japan.
Since 2015 she has been an assistant at the Academy of Arts in Szczecin. For two years she had held the course ”Art in Public Space and Experimental Music”. Recently she teaches chamber and contemporary music, and creates an open space for an academic interaction between different branches of art.