In a bid to market the country’s cultural and traditional practises in Europe, multi-talented artiste Luckson Chikutu, affectionately known as Manlurckerz, recently launched his debut book titled Flashback Identity. The book was unveiled in Sweden where he is based. The artiste, who has been conducting arts workshops in the Scandanavian, has been called to perform at the majestic Africa Festival next month where he is also going to do another book launch. The Standard Style (SS) spoke to Chikutu (LC) from his Swedish base of the looming Africa Festival among other things. Below are excerpts from the interview.
SS: You have been visible of late in the Scandanavia pushing local arts and culture. What is driving you?
LC: I want to share my culture internationally so that people get to know a bit about it. I feel proud of my culture and it is important to everyone in his or her own right. I saw others doing it, marketing their culture in foreign land and succeeding. I became focused on that and started doing perfomances. This also helped me not to feel lonely in a large community. I am now feeling comfortable and managed to Flashback Identity.
SS: You have also been invited to participate at the Africa Festival slated for next month for the second time, what do you think attracted your invitation given the magnitude of the event?
LC: They want me to launch my book Flashback Identity at the mega event. The organisers have seen that I am serious and a well-focused artist from Africa. I do my things the African way, portraying the real African culture. In other words, the organisers want me to share this Africaness with others in Europe through arts.
SS: So this could have triggered the writing of Flashback Identity?
LC: That is why I wrote the book. People should not fogert their roots nomater their location. In the book I have compiled my family history, Zimbabwean traditional musicand dance and also music business information. We need to collectively preserve our culture and traditional practices.
SS: You have six music albums to your name and you have come up with this book, does it mean you are now going to focus more on writing?
LC: Not as such. I have done a great job to my family and the Zimbabwean society and they know that is important to document our history. I have six albums and I will continue with music until further notice. It is easy for me to get in touch and spread my culture and tourism internationally through live perfomances, lectures and workshops on Zimbabwean tradition and culture.
SS: Before being involved in a car accident that claimed the lives of some of your team, you used to lead the Zimbabwe Music Festival Bira (Zimfeb) that saw some local artistes travelling to Sweden for cultural exchange programmes. Are we ever going to witness such a fete on local soil?
LC: Zimfeb is bouncing back. I am still to secure resources after the road diasater that claimed some of my colleagues. For now, I am focusing on educating people of our own culture and music.
SL: Back to your book, what is your target audience?
LC: Both the young and the old.
SL: Apart from your debut nomination at the last edition of the Namas, do you think your works are being recognised by your own people?
LC: I think so and with the coming in of the book, I am certain that I will be recognised more.