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Sista Zai Zanda


pronouns are Sista Zai/Achihera

Sista Zai Zanda (Sista Zai/Achihera) was born on colonised Mwari Country (Zimbabwe). Achihera grew up in post-independence Zimbabwe during the Cold War and Apartheid eras. A third generation dispossessed Karanga whose kumusha (family village) is in Masvingo, Sista Zai was raised in economic and social privilege in Harare as a first-generation urban Shona, surrounded by siblings, cousins and a large, multigenerational extended family. Sista Zai now lives, works and creates as a Black settler/coloniser on the stolen Blak lands of the Kulin Nations.

For several years, Sista Zai co-produced matinées and open mics around Naarm/Birrarunga/Melbourne, showcasing over one hundred performances by Black Indigenous storytellers (Aboriginal, African and Melanesian). In this, Achihera continues the tradition of diasporic African artists and storytellers, who tell, perform, archive and document stories through community-grounded processes and for collective liberation.

A career highlight of this period was when Achihera co-produced and sold out a performance at Arts Centre Melbourne, bringing #BlackGirlMagic Australia’s largest performing arts venue.

Since 2020, Achihera has published a countercultural podcast. Called Life Seen Through A Sista’s Eye Podcast, Sista Zai publicly archives an unfolding decolonising journey from the view of an “Afrofuturistic Storyteller” who is #BlackBougieAndQuestioningCapitalism. This podcast is archive, journal and community-based storytelling. Life Seen Through A Sista’s Eye harnesses storytelling as an aid to uproot and examine internalised oppression with vulnerability, compassion and curiosity. Through a journaling project called The Decolonial Legacy Archives, Achihera works with women and femmes from all backgrounds who are also actively divesting from colonial mentality.

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