Mbira Music Evokes Spiritual Feelings – Gweru Mbira Crew

“When I first listened to the mbira sound, I wanted to hear more and more. I could not stop it, I was sick until I learned to play, so I

could hear these sounds, said the Zimbabwe’s Mbira Queen maestro, Stella Rambisai Chiweshe.

The above experience is not unique to Stella, as she is known by her legions of fans. Those were the same feelings that drove the only

Mbira music ensemble in Gweru, the Midlands Mbira Crew to the traditional beat.

The group is a brainchild of three mbira enthusiasts, Trymore Marowa,

Chigama Hope and James Chiguvare was formed in November last year.

The trio reveals that as they play and listen to the Mbira beat they

get “engrossed by the spiritual world”, they get possessed with

ancestral powers “that can cast the evils of society away.”

Martin Mgwagwa, the Manager of the group, said feelings of the artful

way ancestors lived made them play mbira music, an art he says is

“innate and does not need formal education.”

He added that the traditional beat is unique, compared to others as

Sungura as one plays using instruments that are not connected to

external wires.

“Mbira as part of art music is distinct from Sungura music that is

played out of wires connected to electricity for entertainment. Mbira music get into the bottom of his heart through feelings that can neither be touched or seen”,

said Mgwagwa.

“We play mbira to express our feelings as well as that of

my community using typical ancestry self made instruments that we want

to conserve as culture to our children”, he added.

Mgwagwa revealed that mbira music remind the people of Zimbabwe about their ancestor’s way of life before the coming in of television and radios. He said that just like

Christianity, traditional living can be captured and conserved through

playing mbira to the people of Gweru.

Mbira music is more salient to social and economic issues than in politics. As Midlands Mbira Crew we get invitations from all over the

country to perform, especially where there will be spirit mediums (mhondoro) or where there ceremonies to bless new buildings

or to cleanse away evil spirits.

“We have seen many artists dying of HIV/Aids and if you are playing Mbira dzechivanhu it works on you as a

carthesis that disciplines and cleanses away evil. Midlands Mbira Crew namely Trymore Marowa, Hope Chagama, James

Chiguvare, Owen Mbano, Skanyisiwe Kanye, Author Mbano and Clara Mashayamombe are looking forward to record their first album in mbira

music very soon.

The trio revealed that as they play and listen to the Mbira beat they

are “engrossed in the spiritual world”, which make them get possessed with

ancestral powers “that can cast the evils to the society members. “The traditional beat is unique, compared to others as

Sungura as one plays using instruments that are not connected to external wires”, he added.

“We play mbira to express our feelings as well as that of my community using typical ancestry self made instruments that we want

to conserve as culture to our children”, Mgwagwa said.

Mbira Crew namely Trymore Marowa, Hope Chagama, James Chiguvare, Owen Mbano, Skanyisiwe Kanye, Author Mbano and Clara

Mashayamombe are working on their first album in mbira music which will be released very soon.

There is a need to teach mbira music at both primary and secondary levels

as a way of preserving our local culture, said Mgwagwa the Manager. He

encouraged all artists around the country not be shy about what they

are doing through music that uses traditional instruments.

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Source by Caven Masuku

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