Giwayen Mata shares stories of the African diaspora through dance, song and spoken word

Omiyale Harris
Dancer Tambra Omiyale Harris (Adiellah Bates)

Giwayen Mata is an award-winning ensemble that focuses on and celebrates the rich traditions of Africa. Through dance, song, spoken word and drums, the women of Giwayen Mata share stories of the African diaspora. This weekend at 7 Stages, the ensemble is hosting the event “I AM ATL Woman.” The performance is dedicated to sharing experiences of Black and African women of Atlanta. Tambra Omiyale Harris, artistic director of Giwayen Mata, joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes to discuss this rich experience.

Interview Highlights:

About Giwayen Mata:

“We call ourselves a dynamic, soul-steering, all sistah dance percussion and vocal ensemble. We specialize in dances, rhythms, and songs of the African Diaspora. We like to say it that way because it allows us to move around to various cultures around the world where African people have landed, where their descendants still live, they’re still creating, and existing in unique cultures,” said Harris. She continued, “Our ensemble is mutigenerational and we are really really proud of that. We have sistahs as young as their early 20s, and as grown up as their mid-60s. It’s a beautiful blend of womanhood.”

The events a part of “I AM ATL Woman:”

“We will have three performances this weekend. We are going to be dancing, singing, drumming. We are going to be offering narratives, and also on Monday we’re going to be doing a virtual toast in honor of Giwayen Mata’s actual anniversary date. That toast is called an ‘Art of Activism’ panel discussion which will take place on Zoom and live streamed. We will be talking with several sisters about their work and how their work will allow us a glimpse into intersectionality and Atlanta intersectionality … like what does that mean for us as women, not just in Atlanta, but all over the world,” said Harris.

 The events are held March 25-27 at 7 Stages Theatre.