MBIRA - the non-profit organization devoted to Shona mbria music


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Erica Azim
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    Teaching the Children of Zimbabwe Traditional Music

    MBIRA sponsors mbira instruments for Zimbabwean schools, to encourage transmission of traditional music to the next generation. So far, sets of instruments have been sponsored for Chimatira Primary School in the Nyamweda area of Mhondoro Communal Area, Chinhoyi High School #2 in the town of Chinhoyi, and St. Bede's Primary School in Dewedzo (near Mujuru Village). Enjoy the photos and videos below, to see what your donations are doing in Zimbabwe.

    Both boys and girls are learning mbira at Chimatira Primary School

    Students at Chinhoyi High #2 with teacher Patience Munjeri

    In 2013, MBIRA sponsored additional mbiras for Chimatira Primary School, where 30 students are eager to participate in the program taught by Caution Shonhai, and mbiras for St. Bede's Primary School in rural Dewedzo, near Mujuru Village. The Ancient-Ways Jangano project partnered with MBIRA on the St. Bede's Primary School project, raising funds to pay the mbira teacher.

    The MBIRA Musicians Fund currently has policies designed to support the transmission of traditional music to future generations of Zimbabweans. Those musicians on MBIRA's recordings who wish to receive MBIRA Musicians Fund donations, in addition to their recordings royalties (which are often less than $50 each), must show that they are teaching the next generation their traditional music skills. MBIRA began documenting this in 2011 with photos, recordings and videos, as well as written details. To donate to the MBIRA Musicians Fund, 100% of which is distributed to over 200 Zimbabwean musicians who earned less than $100 in the past year, note Musicians Fund on your donation (except during December, when all donations go to the Musicians Fund):

    Alois Mutinhiri encouraging son Tatenda Mutinhiri, age 9

    MBIRA also has future plans to support young musicians in Zimbabwe, including an mbira competition with prizes

    The Gweremwezhe brothers, ages 14 and 16
    MBIRA, Box 7863, Berkeley, CA 94707-0863, USA, tel (510) 548-6053, email info@mbira.org