INCLUSIVES : care and empowerment resonate




“Wacuka” in Maryann’s mothertongue kikuyu, means the one who is well taken care of and, the one who is taking care, the carer…

In other words, care ought to be INCLUSIVE of a mutual empowerment in order to be at its own best, well rooted, “near to the soil”, like a home-coming… these at least are the resonances of the story which Maryann shares with us in her interview.

It’s only quite recently that Maryann relocated from town to the Germany countryside. A good moment to reflect together with her on the journey from her native Kenya to Germany, and up to her present life and work… “Who i am goes well with my name…” Maryann explains as if in summarizing her life.

Maryann Gorschlüter has worked with refugees in a camp run by Malteser for a number of years now. In her descriptions, observations and reflections, she takes us on a journey in between different perspectives. Having walked the difficulties of migration and integration herself, she now can assist new-comers with her experience and her empathy; and she does so jointly with, and from within the local Black community.

Her new life in the German countryside provides Maryann with yet deeper images and means of reflection on her experiences. We recorded the interview in Maryann’s new home in rural Hoetmar.



radio continental drift is grateful to the Fair_Play Network and Tsuku Boshi for the chance and occasion to highlight Maryann’s inspiring story by a remix contribution to the album INCLUSIVES – a participatory album using the sounds of four artists.

We warmly acknowledge the work of Carol Robinson: it’s been a joy witnessing in remix the encounter of Maryann’s voice and story with Carol’s music (track 10).



Fair_Play is a network dedicated to promoting the visibility/audibility of women (cis/trans/non-binary) in the fields of sound creation, experimental, alternative, electroacoustic music and related arts and techniques. Within this scope, Fair_play strives to include socio-cultural minorities ignored by the dominant systems.



SHE’BUNTU Audio Kollektiv: empowerment in Afro-Sisterhood


SHE’BUNTU Audio Kollektiv.

The project was born from the concept of ubuntu and women empowerment. In African cultures, ubuntu means to be a part of a larger whole, “I am because you are”. In the centre of the project are women who share their stories to learn from each other and encourage other women. Thus, SHE’BUNTU. Oral History of and by African women in Germany inspired by discovering their common experiences between Migration, Integration and inter-cultural identities. SHE’BUNTU, that’s what we want to practice and speak, loud and programmatic in audio research and podcast / radio outputs. Yes, She is, She can! SHE’BUNTU!

radio continental drift proudly supports Afro-Sisterhood in the journey of audio self- empowerment.

Afro-Sisterhood Audio Archive

SHE’BUNTU podcast on Anchor

SHE’BUNTU podcast is broadcast by Radio Nordpol.

Interview with Afro-Sisterhood on Apex 1 Radio



Afro-Sisterhood is an initiative of women with African roots aged between 20 and 55 with a large active membership in the Ruhr-area of Germany. We are mothers, engineers, IT-consultants, doctor students, social workers, teachers, and students. In the spirit of Ubuntu, or better She’buntu, we empower each other.

You are warmly invited to get in touch with us via our FB and Insta channels




Festive Launch of She’buntu Audio Kollektiv with members of Afro-Sisterhood Club, Bridget Fonkeu of Intercultural Women Empowerment Netzwerk of the Silent University Ruhr; Mahtab of Migrant Mom’s Mic and Hannah Fischer of Frau Lose e.V. . Music: Crystal DJ Kwe Favel. Afro-Sisterhood warmly thanks these cooperating partners for their support.





Afro-Sisterhood would like to thank interkultur Ruhr for their support and for sponsoring this project.

Förderfonds interkultur Ruhr 2020

Mom’s Mic: a story of audio self-empowerment #8M21



“Mom’s Mic Story” is on-air tomorrow #8M21

via the Free Radios of Germany (BFR)

Mom’s Mic Radio” is a group of women and mothers spread over some cities in the Ruhr Valley of Germany. They produced their first ever radio show under lockdown condition, each one alone with just a smartphone for recordings but joint in their self-motivation. In the regular media, the women didn’t find their experiences as migrants, refugees, activists and mothers represented. So, they had to take matterof media-making into their own hands… and that’s exactly what they did! Their first show got broadcast on Radio Nordpol.

Mom’s Mic found a home and a supportive community among the Free Radios of Germany and are now networked through Netzwerk.Medien.VielfaltFind out more information at and

By some good fortune, radio continental drift got invited doing a couple of workshops with the ladies of Mom’s Mic. We were delighted witnessing the women’s on-going story of audio self-empowerment.

And this is how it came to the radio show “Mom’s Mic Story” that’s gonna air via the Free Radios for 8th March 2021 #8M21 International Women’s Day #IWD21 #IFT21

11 am Radio F.R.E.I.

12 noon Freies Radio Freudenstadt

16 pm Wüste Welle

and 9 March 15 pm on Colaboradio/ fr-bb

Building Radio Bridges @Wavefarm



A highlight radio experience of 2020 for me: “Building Radio Bridges – audio letters between lockdown NYC and the Zambezi Valley”.

This project grew from the soil of archived online recordings by the women audio and radio makers of Zubo Trust in Zimbabwe and #ZongweFM in Zambia and the active listening of Thomas R. Miller and his Anthropology students in NYC. Global human history came in as co-producer of sorts… Remote communication meets Distance Learning leading to a long-distance radio co-production.

We were amazed and are still exited to be participating in this astounding audio journey under global lockdown with a good 80 co-producers in pandemic isolation dotted around the world.

A playlist picturing this journey has “returned” newly-charged audio to the archive… welcoming listeners …. as much as interested DJs, radio artists and broadcasters to explore and use the archive audio… What next…?! How’s the journey continuing….?!?

For now, I can say, a special edited radio playlist will air on Wave Farm Radio, 27.February 5 pm (during the 4 – 6 pm afternoon show)

listen here:


Zubo Trust’s Audio Collection: Bbindawuko Banakazi Fishing Co-op


“The audio recordings of Zubo Trust’s women form a seizable online archive. Based on audio documentation, even the exchange of experiences among women from both sides of the river (or Kariba Lake) could be revived: Zubo women recordings featured in live broadcasts on the community radio station Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe Zambia, just across the Lake form Binga Zimbabwe. Here, Zubo women fishery project caused a small revolution of sorts; because apparently, women in rural Zambia do not yet enjoy such opportunities for economic participation. Relevant radio broadcasts of Zongwe FM featuring recordings from Binga are available in Zubo’s online audio archive (…)”  

excerpt from a recently published article in the German “Graswurzel Revolution”

an English translation of the article is available for download

In the following text, we’ll be presenting newly archived recordings related to the Bbindawuko Banakazi fishing Cooperative along the story-line of the women’s exchange across the Zambezi/ Kariba border. Earlier archived recordings with, by and about the BB women will also be listed below. “Bbindawuko Banakazi” means business women in the local language ChiTonga.

In August 2018, we were able to realise a dream and vision which is expressed in quite a few of the interviews with the women around Zongwe FM and Zubo Trust: namely, a direct exchange of experiences among the Tonga women on the northern and southern banks of Kariba Lake, Zambezi Valley.

One month earlier, in July, Zubo Trust’s Matron Muleya had already initiated a process of exchange across the Valley by joining – as representative of Zubo Trust, and Zimbabwean Tonga, a fundraising concert for Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe Zambia. In the first week of August, the Zongwe FM team followed up on Matrons visit by calling for a meeting of representatives from the local women’s clubs to discuss the details of who, when, how for the envisaged Go-and-See visit of women from Sinazongwe to Zubo Trust in Binga Zimbabwe.

We had enough funds to support two women for a three-days visit across Lake Kariba to Binga. In a long engaged discussion, it was decided that the women clubs would come together and join funds in order to send a third lady representative across the lake. The representatives were than chosen: Cleopatra Nchite from Mweesya Women’s Club, Mariya Ntandiyana from Tusumpuke Savings Group and Nosiku Mundia from Zongwe FM would join the two for radio documentation.

The visit took place between 21. – 24. August. Nosiku’s recordings document the women’s encounters when visiting four of Zubo’s economic empowerment projects: the women’s cooperative of the Jatropha soap manufactory in Binga, the Baobab Maheo collective in Manjolo and Zubo’s flagship project, the Bbindawuko Banakazi Cooperative fishing Ltd. in Simatelele.

Whilst in Simatele with the Bbindawuko Banakazi, the Sinazongwe visitors also found time to sit down with their host weaving baskets together. Here they were introduced to the special technique of ilala weaving practiced among the Zubo weaving groups. This had been a request of a number of weavers in Sinazongwe who had see Zubo ilala crafts; and Mariya Ntandiyana was one ot them who shared this interest and was thus eager to learn the skills from the Binga women and bring them back home to her fellow weavers. (track 13)

These audio recordings returned with the three women to Sinazongwe. Zongwe FM studio team listened, clipped and prepared the audio which were then broadcast to the wider community in two live shows on 29. Aug. and 31. Aug.2018. Both bring Zubo’s story and experience of women’s economic empowerment to the surprised Sinazongwe community; the many call-ins speak volumes. The first radio show focusing on the Bbindawuko Banakazi Co-op, Zubo’s fishery project; the second live show focuses on the soap producing cooperative.

Two weeks later recordings of the complete broadcasts reached back to Zubo team in Binga; this time on road via Livingston and Bulawayo with Mutinta Muguwa/ radio continental drift. The broadcast recordings were eagerly received and listened to just as if they were received live on air in this very moment.

In August 2019, excerpts from the recordings featured in a broadcast by ORF Kunstradio “This is a radio-bridge across the Zambezi and across the world…” joint by dedicated remixes donated by international artists and composers, such as those from the bandcamp album of the same name.


a list of related earlier archived recordings:

2018 an interview with Danisa Mudimba Zubo board chair (English)

2018 an interview with Nosiku Mundia Zongwe FM after her visit to Zubo Trust in Zimbabwe (English)

2017 Cecilia Mudimba, chair lady of Bbindawuko Banakazi Coop interviewed by Mugande (ChiTonga/ English)

2016 an interview recorded on the rig by Mugande with two women members of the BB-coop (ChiTonga/ English)

2015 Yes-Afrika Women Forum meets Zubo Trust’s Rosemary Cumanzala (English)

2015 Podcast 5 Yes-Afrika Women Forum with Rosemary Cumanzala (German/English)

2012 interview with Abbigale Muleya Zubo Trust (English)

2016 live broadcast on Zongwe FM


many of Zubo women recordings can also be found on the sound maps of radio aporee such as the one featured in the image below on the rig in Binga harbour.

Members of the Bbindawuko Banakazi Fishing Cooperative Ltd. 2020

Sarudzai Mumpande, Commitee member

Sophie Mwinde, Treasure

Lucy Mungombe, Member

Esnarth Munkuli, Member

Sinikiwe Mwinde, Member

Daina Munkuli, Member

Judith Mudimba, Secretary

Brandina Mudimba, Chairlady

Cecilia Mudimba, Committe member

in memory of late member, Salia Mwinde, who passed on in 2020

We are currently calling for donations for needed repairs and service on the rig of the Bbindawuko Banakazi Coop on the following bank account of Baobab e.V. in Kassel for the “BB-Co-op” (keyword). Tax-certificates will be sent starting from donations of 20 euros. Please enter your address on the transfer carrier; website of the association: ; IBAN: DE67 4306 0967 4103 8566 00; BIC: GENODEM1GLS; GLS Bank. Twalumba loko. We give thanks for all contributions and support.


Zubo Trust brings women together for self-empowerment”.

Zubo Trust is a local NGO established by women of the Zambezi Valley in 2009.

Zubo Trust website:

Women’s struggles in Zimbabwe


The first female fishing cooperative on Lake Kariba

English translation of an article published in “Graswurzel Revolution” No.454, Dez. 2020

We are in northern Zimbabwe, where the Kariba Reservoir forms the border to neighbouring Zambia. Zubo Trust is a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) founded by women of the Zambezi Valley in the remote rural district of Binga in 2009. The founding group of educated Tonga women was well aware of the need to uplift the lives of their mothers and sisters in the villages; but they also knew the very potential of these women for empowering themselves rooted in indigenous cultural knowledge and the traditional teamwork among women in the rural areas.

“Zubo Trust brings women together for self-empowerment”. 

Zubo is committed to the economic independence and self-empowerment of women in the villages and to this end initiates a development process of sustainable growth with social change from below. The patient, gradual work of the Zubo women begins with sensitizing husbands, policymakers and traditional leaders (chiefs) about women’s social rights. At the same time, they encourage and then accompany the creation of social spaces for the women. These are often women’s discussion forums, where women themselves advance the realization of their social rights locally, right up to issues concerning the access to, and use of the region’s natural resources, such as the fish. 

Today, Zubo Trust supports more than 700 women in the villages in various production collectives, such as for the art of Tonga basket weaving from palm leaves (Ilala), and cooperatives, such as for the production of soap from Jatropha seeds and for fishing.

The fishing cooperative “Bbindawuko Banakazi Fishing Cooperative Ltd.” – or also called BB, meaning “women entrepreneurs” in ChiTonga – are indeed the first Tonga women to have regained fishing-rights on Lake Kariba for the women at large in more than 60 years. It is this pioneering project of the BB Cooperative, which we would like to present now in more detail in order to unravel how the Zubo women succeed to initiate a complex process of social change in the remote areas of northern Zimbabwe.

We, these are members of Zubo office, currently three women, three men and managing director, Rosemary Cumanzala in Binga; and Claudia Wegener aka Radio Continental Drift in Hamm Westfalen (D). In times of the Covid-19 pandemic, we too continue working together by digital means. (1)

Historically, in a matrilineal society, BaTonga women enjoyed significant rights and economic participation in their village communities. Before the forceful resettlement of the valley population, Tonga women used to fish communally in the Zambezi with a “zubo”, a fishing basket made of twigs. 

A World Bank development project under the colonial government of Rhodesia led to the construction of a dam and the flooding of the Zambezi Valley in 1958. The indigenous populationlost literally everything and, since then, has been dependingon humanitarian aid. The Tonga as a people were divided by the lake; today they are citizens of Zimbabwe or Zambia. The shores of Lake Kariba came understate ownership, and thus mostly reserved for tourism or private investors; while fishing became, and remained to be, an industrial domain of men. It is menwho fish Kapentaat night onso-called “rigs”. The Tonga women thus lost with their land and access to the river alsotheir common social space, their rights and their participation in society as economically independent women.

Since inception in 2009, the Zubo team had been working on the fishing-coop initiative, which finally, in 2011, granted the women fishing-rights on Lake Kariba alongside the men: BB, the first fishing cooperative of women indigenous to the Valley, began professional fishing on a purpose-built, woman-friendly rig called “Zubo” – that is, literally, women’s traditional fishing basket. Bbindawuko Banakazi Cooperative Ltd. consists often female members and employstwo men. For the realisation of her founding dream, Zubo Trust was able to successfully rely on the above-mentioned means, the sensitisation of men and the creation of women’s forums to accompany social change on the ground– because, since then, it had not been common practise in remote Binga that women, or women-cooperatives hire men. Strategically, for such social change to take root and be sustainable, it also proved to be crucial that Zubo team was closely partnering with the local office of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development (MoWA), as well as involving the traditional chiefs in all local activities. Strategies, by the way, that Zubo Trust has maintained since as successful.

According to Zubo’s experience with the fishery project, the improved economic participation of women increases their general standard of living, their confidence and self-esteem. Women then tend to become involved in community decisions, which in turn can lead to changes in social practices and power relations that begin at family level; thus mobilising social action that ultimately leads to a political participation of women as well. Zubo Trust accompanies the process of social change with training and capacity-building in the business-women co-ops. In this way, partnering again with MoWA, an association was successfully established which now represents the women and their concerns in the meetings of the local, all male-staffed Fisheries Union.

In 2016, Zubo’s collaboration with Radio Continental Drift led to the project “Women record Women Stories”. Based on hands-on training in audio media and an oral history project on village-level, the project was aiming to build media competence among the Zubo women. Participatory forms of research, documentation and evaluation are an important aspect of Zubo’s “self-empowerment” rational and mission. In this context, even the very ownership of digital recording equipment can already effect self-empowerment. (2) Today, the audio recordings of the Zubo women form a seizable online archive. Based on the audio documentation, even the exchange of experiences among women from both sides of the river (or Kariba Lake) could be revived: Zubo women recordings featured in live broadcasts on the community radio station Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe Zambia, just across the Lake form Binga Zimbabwe. Here, Zubo women fishery project caused a small revolution of sorts; because apparently, women in rural Zambia do not yet enjoy such opportunities for economic participation. Relevant radio broadcasts of Zongwe FM featuring recordings from Binga are available in Zubo’s online audio archive. The audio collection inspired international radio-makers, artists and researchers to engage with Zubo’s work, Tonga culture and history. Creative results, such as remixes and music albums are also archived online. (3)

Bbindawuko Banakazi Cooperative represented the southern African region at an international conference on fisheries-resource-management in Kenya in 2018. The international recognition raised the women’s self-appreciation of their project. The conference also opened their eyes on regional and international economic initiatives, stimulated networking and the search for new market linkages.

Under the influence of the pandemic and global lockdowns, social inequalities are currently deepening worldwide. Zubo women’s rig is in need of repair and has not been serviced for months, income minimised, debts are piling up. And thus, we would like to call out here in support of the Bbindawuko Banakazi Cooperative. (4)

We dedicate this article to the memory of Salia Mwinde. She was a member of the ten-women fishing cooperative and passed on unexpectedly while this article was being collated at the beginning of November.



1) However, it should also be mentioned here that the struggle for participation in a so-called “Global Information Age” continues even for the patience-trained Zubo women. Internet access is hugely expensive in the remote areas; and thus, even the new website is not really in Zubo women’s hands until the financing of adequate Internet access is secured.

2) The purchase of the required digital equipment received support from the Solidarity Fund of the German Böckler Foundation.

3) Zubo’s AudioArchive is located in the Internet Archive search term: Zubo Trust

4) We call for donations on the following bank account of Baobab e.V. in Kassel for the “BB-Co-op” (keyword). Tax-certificates will be sent starting from donations of20 euros. Please enter your address on the transfer carrier. IBAN: DE67 4306 0967 4103 8566 00; BIC: GENODEM1GLS; GLS Bank.


With many thanks to the team at “Graswurzel Revolution” 

Further links:

SDG Review by EMIC Media 2016: Zubo Trust; Sundaynews Zimbabwe 2015: Zubo Trust empowers Binga Women; UN Women 2012: Binga women make history

Podcast: Yes-Afrika women meet Zubo Trust 2015 (English/ German)

Music tracks by indigenous Canadian DJ Crystal DJKwe Favel dedicated to the Tonga people, Zubo Trust and to Bbindawuko Banagazi in particular


A further post with newly archived audio recordings with and about Zubo Trust’s Bbindawuko Banakazi Fishing Cooperative will follow soon…

Stay tuned …!!

LONG WALK to free-air


The LONG WALK radio play produced in 2009 for “Studio Acoustic Arts” of WDR 3 Cologne and first broadcast there is

 free for listening, streaming, download and broadcasts via the

Wave Farm Radio Archive

thanks to the work and initiative of Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow, Karen Werner.


John Makua for Long Walk Chess Tournament Joburg 2005


LONG WALK brings together some of the early projects that make up the birth hours of radio continental drift in the streets Johannesburg in 2005; it’s a sonic manifesto of radio continental drift as “a broad casting house in the with a bag…”.

Africa will write its own history…!” Lumumba writes in his fair-well which is quoted at the beginning of the LONG WALK radio drama.

LONG WALK is a radio drama (hear: ”listening play”), which speaks and sings in many voices and languages of Africa’s liberation struggle; its audio-images are alive because that struggle continues…!

LONG WALK is just a beginning… “We want the voices to explode all over…!” – this is how Lumumba’s call resonated during the Durban Sings Project in 2009, on-going at the very time when I was editing LONG WALK in Durban. The “DURBAN SINGS rough radio mix” is thus to my ears a companion piece to the LONG WALK and a precursor of many ‘Babylonic Broadcasts’ still to come…


Loanna Hoffman for Long Walk Chess Tournament Joburg2005


LONG WALK radio play joins three radio projects realised in the inner city of Johannesburg in 2005-06 and brings them together into one new dramatic frame. The individual projects are, Long Walk (public chess tournament and its audio and radio documentations); “Long Walk (abridged)” (commissioned and first aired via Radio Network 2007); and “Radio Armed Response” (aired on Resonance FM 2007 and published as 5’ mix on the CD magazine Vibrofiles in 2009).

For more details see a resource page with audio clips at the Internet Archive.

LONG WALK had a number of resource pages at Creative Africa Network which vanished in 2013 when the platform went down the sad way of many corporately-funded initiatives.

LONG WALK audio was mainly recorded on MD recorder; here is the LONG_WALK_audiolog_MDfootage2005 for the radio piece.


Robin Fortune for Long Walk Chess Tournament Joburg 2005


LONG WALK has been re-broadcast by Kunstradio ORF 2010 by SR Monitor Swedish Radio in 2012 and Deutschlandfunk Kultur in 2020.


LONG WALK is a 50 minutes radio play in 7 audio pictures:

01 nights of departure (6:27′)

02 terminal history (4:48′)

03 zooming into jozi via alex (11:26′)

04 here and overseas (8:05′)

05 inside the belly (5:07′)

06 Azania (9:22′)

07 finale a la parade (5:31)


LONG WALK credits (in the order of appearance)

DENNIS BRUTUS, poet narrator

MARIA FISCH, archivist narrator

JOE MURANGI, Herero commentator

MICHAEL ASBURY, “radio continental drift” jingle

PATRICIA KYUNGU, Sophia-town interpreter

numerous RESIDENT NARRATORS, dogs, bells and electric wires in Diepkloof and Sandton (on or off intercom)

numerous TRANSLATORS IN TRANSIT at Jozi’s Park Station, the JAG, Wits Campus and Alexandra Township (reciting from Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom”, abridged edition)

PITSO CHINZIMA, Jozi narrator in the car

FAITH DANIELS, SAfm presenter

WATU KOBESE, SA chess champion

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE, Jozi narrator on the fence in the park

JOHN FLEETWOOD, photographer, Jozi commentator on the fence

ALFRED KUMALO and DAVID, Joubert Park photographers

GEORGE SHIRE, Brixton narrator 1

NADINE GORDIMER, interpreter English, in ‘my father’ (04)

TERRY MAC, Brixton narrator 2 (reciting LKJ’s poem “Making History”)

SOLOMON and various Brixton sound systems

DIANA HYSLOP and ANDREW THABANGU, interpreters in ‘my cell’ (06)

CHARLOS FUENTES, interpreter Spanish, in ‘the science of boxing’ (06)


STEVEN NKWANA and STEVEN SKOZANA, Joubert Park chess players

JACKIE NGUBENI, commentator SA chess

PAUL STIGLING, Riverlee Park chess player

ANDROA MINDRE KOLO, praise speech on LONG WALK tournament (07)

VUYO and MAJESTY, poetry performance at the LONG WALK tournament

the women of the ANTI-PRIVATISATION-FORUM (struggle songs)

additional recordings:

clips from AMADOU SANGARE dit BARI (“l’Histoire de Moussa Tchefari Pere de Sabally 1”)

clips from the album “WAY BACK”

clip of song “Tell the world my story”


clips from SAfm interview on LONG WALK tournament (18 Nov. 2005)

clip of church congregation on Jozi train recorded by MANDISA M. LEDWABA

special thanks to:

Dennis Brutus (for his poem “Memory”), all the producers of the DURBAN SINGS Project and researchers at the Centre for Civil Society in Durban where this radio drama was edited in September 2009; and in Jozi to: the Market Photo Workshop, Joubert Park Photographers, Joubert Park Chess Players, Johannesburg Art Gallery, SAfm, Joburg City Parks, the Chess Academy, and the Bag Factory Artist Studios; the Triangle Trust, British Council and TrAIN research unit at the University of the Arts in London for residency and travel grants in 2005 and 2008.

acknowledgements of previously published editions:

“Long Walk (abridged)” was commissioned and first broadcast by the RADIA network and Resonance fm in London in February 2007;

“Radio Armed Response” was commissioned by the Goethe Institut Johannesburg and first broadcast on Resonance fm in April 2007; a recent edition was commissioned by and published in a 5’ edit by Double Entendre in the “Plastic People Issue” in spring 2009;

“In the Belly of the Beast” (recordings with George Shire in Brixton Market) were made for the No-Go-Zones audio radio project and published by Double Entendre on the “Influence100” DVD in May 2008.


Petras Mkize for Long Walk Chess Tournament Joburg 2005

Remote Communication meets Distance Learning leading to a Long-distance Co-production


Participating in this astounding journey under global lockdown conditions are Dr. Tom Miller and his Anthropology students in NYC, members of Zubo Trust and Zongwe FM both sides of the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and Claudia Wegener aka radio continental drift aka Mutinta Mukuwa in Germany.

We would like to invite you to join us in listening to a playlist of audio correspondence between New York City and the Zambezi Valley co-produced under lockdown between May and July 2020.



Building Radio Bridges – Audio Letters between

Lockdown NYC and the Zambezi Valley


here, you can listen to, stream or download our co-production, a playlist of 42 tracks

total audio: 71 minutes, 156 MB, or 67.8 MB here




An audio correspondence crossing cultures, continents and pandemic self-isolation involving more than 80 correspondents



The playlist presents a selection of voice mail messages edited to include more participants; it also includes a number of remixes to bring in some more relevant voices from the Zambezi radio projects and to reflect some of the audio content to which the students had listened in radio continental drift online archives.



In prefiguring the project for his students, Dr. Tom poignantly wrote,

We started out together in late January in a world that no longer exists, and we still don’t know what kind of world will greet us when we emerge. (…) In keeping with this historical moment when long-distance communication has become our default mode, this final project—your “Audio Letters” to Zongwe FM in Zambia, the women of Zubo Trust in Zimbabwe, and Radio Continental Drift in Europe—takes on an extra layer of resonance as a calling out across the ocean, from one group of individuals in isolation to another….”


Listen to Audio Letters from the students at Brooklyn College to the Zambezi Valley

Listen to Audio Letters from the participants in the Zambezi Valley to the students in NYC




The students had earlier listened to a number of suggested online playlists which are documenting audio and radio interactions of women across Lake Kariba, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is these playlists that the students are responding to in their audio messages. Some students also respond to earlier course content like public service announcements on the Zambian National broadcaster ZNBC.

Zubo Women recording Women Stories

Radio-Bridge open call playlist1

Radio-Bridge open call playlist2

Radio-Bridge Remix Compilation





South-North Co-producers in radio solidarity


NYC: Tom Miller aka Sonic Anthropology, Brooklyn College Anthropology students, Sumayya Begum, Tairice Cash, Jennifer Kipnis, Bijan Mills, Ainon Kazol Hia, Isaar Tahir, Connor Fitzgerald, Sabrina Tellez, Shamiso Tunduwani, Julie Ann Tupper, Algassimou Diallo, Hilda Lema, Anam Javed, Anna Kowalski, Alvin Huang, Naomie Monestime, Ziping Chen, Johnny Han, Kevin Ramsaroop, Kaitlin Torres, Adriana Sanmartin, Alexander Beltran, Alliyah Cadore, Allyson Patterson, Amy Ye, Arilda Hyka, Benjamin Mulholland, Bora Kagitcioglu, Carmen Torres, Danny Bannout, Dorna Youseflaleh, Doron Simon, Edward Sabbagh, Galit Mamrout, Hambardzum Azatryan, Hui Yin Yu, Jenny Cheng, Jianming Ma, Jing Hua Huang, Josephine Li, Kalifa Derrick, Katheryn Ward, ManJun Luo, Meggie Cheng, Miriam Salama, Mohammed Azman, Naomie Monestime, Noah Shy, Noe Vega, Oscar Chacon, Rachel Pang, Richard Share, Sabrina Espinosa, Samuel Benjamin Elman, Sang Hun Han, Sarah Lee Chen, Sarah Lukowsky, Shannon Wong, Sharona Abramova, Shyla Hicks, Stephanie Corio Escamill, Tanveer Singh, Tofura Ferdous, Vicky Camacho, Wissam Sinno, Yongqi Tang, Yumeng Qiu, i.a.

Sinazongwe Zambia: Zongwe FM team, Monica Sianbunkululu aka DJ Mo; Nosiku Mundia aka DJ Nono; Patience Kabuku aka DJ Petty Young, James Teelela aka DJ Mukkala Ajigwa, Nelico Mweetwa aka DJ Cibikubantu kuli banyina nkalungu kaamoyo, Budima musicians, Tusumpuke Saving Group and Nsenga Women’s Club, i.a.

Binga Zimbabwe: Zubo Trust team, Matron Muleya, Donor Ncube, Bulemu Mutale, Bbindawuko Banakazi chairlady Cecilia, Labecca Munkuli, Lucia Munenge, Virginia Mwembe, Ester Muleya, Margaret Munkuli and her mother, Caven Mugande, Regina Munkuli, Abbigal Muleya Mumpande, Chiza Mwinde, Linda Mudimba, Basilwizi Trust, Gogo aka Thembi Ngwabi, i.a.

Music/ Composers: Anna Stereopoulou, Crystal DJ Kwe Favel, Ilpo, Valerie Vivancos, Valerio Orlandini, Alan Dunn, i.a.



View all the archived multimedia resources for Distance Learning here

Read an interview with Dr. Tom where he reviews the involved processes of Distance Learning and Long-Distance Co-production in more detail



Donor Ncube talks about Ilala crafts among Zubo women



Zubo Trusts‘s Donor Ncube sheds some light on what it really is that makes an ilala basket a “quality product”. We are talking about the kind of knowledge that is passed on for generations from mothers to daughters; yet each generation may also be adding new experiences, slightly different practices of “the same” and their own very peculiar perspective on the traditional Tonga craft…!



In the first part of our recording, Donor talks about her own growing up in Simatelele Ward and learning how to weave from her mother. Other common means of income generation among women and children was collecting mabuyu (baobab) or Marula to sell it; but producing ilala baskets, Donor tells us, can be much more lucrative. She highlights the importance of this traditional craft production among Tonga women. As Donor tells us in the interview, the earnings from craft sales allowed her widowed mother to send Donor to secondary school; thus the young girl was eager learning the arts of weaving herself and stand on her own feet.



Zubo Trust as an organisation assists rural weavers groups in Binga District in marketing their products; Zubo distributes and collects orders and ensures for information flow and capacity building across interested weavers groups in the six wards that Zubo is operating in. Donor is looking after the ilala crafts project at Zubo Trust; and working as admin and financial assistance officer.



In the main part of the interview, via mukuwa’s [the foreigner] ignorant questions, Donor and I are diving into some of the secrets of ilala weaving. i’m fascinated to understand more about the actual making of ilala baskets and the intricate knowledge on how best to treat the natural resource of ilala (palm leave) to ready it for producing “good quality crafts”. The above audio is a podcast mix with excerpt from the recording with Donor accompanied by the music of Crystal DJ Kwe Favel from an album which the Canadian indigenous artist dedicated to her spiritual relatives in the Zambezi Valley [music from “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga“]



In the final part of the interview, Donor shares more about the Zubo crafts weaving project, how it is organised and what feedback or success stories she knows of from the weavers. We talk about teaching the crafts and reflect on the recent weavers workshop with women in Chinonge Ward and Donor’s experience of participating in and documenting the workshop at the same time thanks to using binaurals.



Every Saturday morning, the women weavers of Bunsiwa village and surroundings are meeting to weave their baskets together, help each other, exchange news and learn more from experienced weavers like Notani Munkuli. The Bunsiwa weavers are supported by Zubo Trust and, apart from selling small amounts of baskets locally, they produce large orders to be sold via Lupane Women Centre in the neighbouring district. i’m accompanying Zubo’s Donor Ncube to meet the weavers and we record a number of interview on the day…


Together with Donor Ncube, we talk to Notani Munkuli, an experienced weaver from Bunsiwa. Zubo Trust had sent her and five women from other Binga wards for further training to Lupane Women Centre; now she’s passing on her skills locally; Notani knows a lot about the practice of weaving in this area; what can she tell us about the history of the craft….?


Zubo Trust marketing Binga weavers products at Lusaka International Crafts Fair 2018

Esnart Mweemba talks about ilala crafts


Esnart Mweemba is an artist, researcher, crafts producer, crafts expert and trader from Choma Southern Province of Zambia. For many years she worked for Choma Museum as a crafts development officer, training hundreds of men and women in traditional crafts like Tonga Basket weaving with the leaf of the ilala palm.


Esnart Mweemba at the yard of her farm in Harmony near Choma with various hand-woven structures 2018



In the present interview with Esnart from 2016, we focus on the ilala crafts in particular; this in fact was due to our work in Binga at the time, an oral history, training and radio project with the women of Zubo Trust. I had come to Zambia for a couple of days, and at the morning of the interview recording, was about to cross the border back to Binga Zimbabwe. I had brought along as a little gift for Esnart, one of the ilala bags by Zubo women; and this is one of the subjects discussed here in conversation. We are comparing the bag produced by Zubo with some other ilala bags, we happen to have at hand. The interview is thus in parts particularly addressed to the Zubo women, as Esnart’s feedback, knowledge sharing and solidarity message to the women in the Zambezi valley.



The starting point of our conversation is a national “training the trainers” projects by the Ministry of Tourism in Zambia at the time. The ministry contracted Esnart Mweemba and Agness Buya Yombwe as experts to run and oversee crafts training across all the country’s provinces over two years; I was curious hearing a little more about the still ongoing project from Esnart herself.

For an interview, that features the vast variety of Esnart’s cultural expertise, please see/ hear her 2012 interview

Here an excerpt from Esnart’s 2012 interview in beautiful remix by UK artist Felicity Ford aka Knitsonic:


Esnart’s Bio: My name is Esnart Mweemba. I am 62 years old; a self-taught artist, crafts maker, trainer and researcher living in Choma District, Zambia. Textile arts (batik, tapestry, tie and dye) are my discipline; I also paint, produce prints, practice weaving with Malala (palm leaves) and beadwork. Weaving and beats are traditional Tonga crafts; now even globally renowned. I’ve done community research on Tonga culture; and assisted in the production of a number of CD compilations of Kankobela music (thumb-piano). When I grew up, it was my mother who taught me basket-weaving in the Tonga tradition. As an artist, I feel it’s important for me to care about this traditional knowledge of my people and continue develop its practice together with my community. Crafts-making is a way to empower communities with skills that may generate income and jobs. I train product development, and capacitate makers in developing new ideas and products. From 1995-2007, I was the Crafts Manager and Crafts Development Officer at Choma Museum and Crafts Centre (CMCC), trained hundreds of people in the district, organized crafts competitions and assisted in the production of exhibitions. In 2014, I facilitated a series of nationwide workshops in “crafts, design, production and quality enhancement” under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Arts in Zambia. I’ve trained support groups of various counseling organisations in crafts, and worked with orphans, vulnerable children and in HIV affected households. In 1993, I took part in the first national workshop for female artists at Henry Tayeli Gallery Lusaka. Since then, I have participated in many art exhibitions, festivals, study tours and workshops in Zambia and abroad. At the beginning of my working life, I worked in the local government department of agriculture. Today, next to family, arts and crafts, I am pursuing agriculture on my own land.



Some further Links:

Lechwe Trust, my name is listed among the collection artists:

“Women in Art” exhibition at Choma Museum 2013

Here an example of my involvement in community research on Tonga music with CMBaird; my vital assistance for the productions is directly mentioned.

My personal FB profile


Esnart Mweemba’s tapestry work “Pregnant Baobab” is in the collection of Lechwe Trust in Lusaka and was shown at the opening of the new gallery in December 2018

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