Teacher produces mbira handbook

HARARE - St. Giles Special School teacher Trust Mutekwa, better known as Teacher Muzavazi, has produced a mbira book as part of his attempts to popularise and preserve the cultural musical instrument.

The book titled Nyunga Mbira Handbook will be launched on March 11 at the Alliance Francaise.

“The handbook is on how to play the 15-key nyunga nyunga mbira that is being taught in schools and colleges,” Mutekwa told the Daily News.

He added that the book is a platform for him to share the experience he has attained over the years.

“It would be unfair for me not to share what I have learnt as far as mbira-playing is concerned. I have dwelt on four modes and how dozens of patterns and songs sprout from them.

“I have also provided historical backgrounds of some of the traditional songs in the handbook. The students need to know where we took Nhemamsasa and Sarura Wako among others,” he said.

Mutekwa, who studied mbira at Morgenster Teachers College in 1998, believes he is a suitable author of a book on mbira.

“Apart from working with different musicians, teachers and researchers, I introduced and taught mbira in many schools around the country, including Tafara Primary School, David Livingstone, Borrowdale Primary School, Chipawo, Girls College, Dominican Convent and Gateway before settling at St. Giles Special School in Harare,” he said.

The experienced mbira teacher is proud of his achievements at St. Giles Special School.

“We have done a great deal of arts initiatives sprouting from this very mbira. We have performed at virtually every big festival in town and participated in competitions, concerts and commemorations.

“I work with students of diverse backgrounds. My everyday students are blind. I also work with students from around the world. Some of them learn over WhatsApp calls,” said Mutekwa.

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