This year's WOMEX Award will go to Zanzibar's most famous cultural ambassador, Bi Kidude. In her 90's now, she started her career as a Taraab singer in the 1920s. Since then, she not only helped to maintain the cultural heritage, but also reinvented it, infusing it with local rhythms, Swahili language and matters of everyday life. She has performed in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Japan working with a vast range of artists. Bi Kidude will join the WOMEX Award 2005
at The Sage Gateshead on October 30th at noon. The WOMEX Award gala will also shortly introduce the documentary As Old As My Tongue. The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude, produced by Screenstation in collaboration with Busara Promtions due for festival release in 2006. Gracing the Award ceremony will be the living legend of Oriental piano, official WOMEX Showcase artist Maurice El Médioni.