“Binga nights” – Penny Yon in triple remix


The nights, like all natural circumstances in Binga are strong powers demanding due respect from the rural community, “living according to nature”; “…make sure your cooking and your firers are done… because it is going to be dark!”


Kitchen inn the village of Tyunga, Binga Zimbabwe


The darkness of the night may stand as an images for the marginalized community of the BaTonga living on the northern edge of Zimbabwe, displaced from their ancestry land at the Zambezi by the colonial power’s construction of the Kariba Dam, now having to master life according to the arid nature of Zambezi valley’s higher regions.




And yet, this night is awe-inspiringly beautiful, the stars so close as “dropping out of the sky”… as the BaTonga are thrown back on to their forefathers’ rich cultural heritage and are shining a new light of resilience, cultural knowledge and development in to the darkness of history surrounding them…


Tyunga pupils, Binga Zimbabwe


Three of the international artists contributing to “The Women of the Great River” Call-out took inspiration from Penny Yon’s beautiful raving about the nights in Binga. The remix artists are Anna Leopolder, electronic artist in Germany; Jürgen de Blonde aka Köhn, electronic artist in Belgium; and Minneapolis radio producer Dixie Treichel.



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The musician and arts administrator Penny Yon lived for many years in Binga, shared the lives of the people there, while working as project coordinator of Kunzwana Trust and the Tonga Online project.


Penny Yon - photo by Brian Jerome Williams



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