Archive for the ‘All Africa Sound Map’ Category

A recording by a woman from Binga represents the continent on-air

2017/04/03

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It was a recording by Lucia Munenge from Sikalenge Ward in Binga, which got to represent (sounds from) the African continent on a WDR3 “open sounds” programm recently: “The Sound of the World” on the field recordings platform radio aporee:::maps. You can find Lucia’s recording on aporee maps here

Sikalenge2 2017-04-03 at aporee

Lucia’s recording was the only recording from the African continent played in the radio show, all other 33 listening samples from the aporee sound maps originated on the other continents. The radio show was dedicated to the aporee radio project by German artist Udo Noll, to its sound maps and audio recordings, which are contributed by listeners from around the world (at the time of this post, 37493 recordings of 32649 places by 1421 contributors with a total audio length of more than 90 days)

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Lucia Munenge is one of Zubo Trust’s six community based facilitators who were trained during the radio project “Women documenting women stories” last year. In her recording Lucia sings a song in ChiTonga composed by the Sikalenge Women’s Forum which tells the story of Zubo Trust and the “zubo” (traditional basket of Tonga women for fishing). She also comments in English on the meaning of the song.

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Sikalenge4 2017-04-03 at aporee

Here, in English translation, the relevant excerpt from the radio show’s transcript:

From the satellite perspective, the point pattern (of audio recordings) reveals where contributors are particularly active and, of course, those regions which are largely undiscovered acoustically. Most of the recordings, around 20,000, were recorded in the European countries. Quantitatively top performer, however, is Taiwan with around 6000 recordings alone! The northern and southern regions on the outskirts or outside the habitable zones, as well as the African continent, are acoustically scarcely explored. The project Radio Continental Drift by the London-based artist Christina Wegener (kkkkk…!) wants to remedy this situation and make the people of Africa audible. Radio Continental Drift does this by collecting interviews, stories and songs or by documenting workshops. “Women documenting women stories” is the name of a project with Zubo Trust in Zimbabwe, an organization that provides educational programs for women. In the following recording of July 26, 2016, Lucia Munenge sings and comments about ZuboTrust in a recording she has made herself.

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Lucia Munenge, Zubo is bringing women together …”

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Zubo Women Audio Collection 2016

2017/03/08

Zubo Staff and CBFs

For International Women’s Day 2017, joining women’s celebrations around the world, Zubo Trust and radio continental drift are proudly launching “Women documenting Women Stories”, an audio collection of more then 50 recordings produced by Zubo women, in particular the six community-based facilitators of Zubo’s Women Forums in Sikalenge (Lucia Munenge), Siachilaba (Julia Mumpande), Chinonge (Eunice Mwinde), Kariyangwe (Regina Munkuli), Manjolo (Margaret Munkuli) and Simatelele (Ottilia Tshuma).

Access the Archive

Zubo Docu workshop Women Stories8

The recordings are mainly in the indigenous language ChiTonga. We’ve made an effort adding introductions in English in the texts on the archive pages and sometimes the women even recorded summaries in English.

Follow our steps listening in situ on radio aporee sound maps

a Binga map in sound -Zubo Trust Binga 2017-01-02

With our recordings, we’d hope to reach out firstly to ChiTonga speaking communities, both sides of Lake Kariba or elsewhere, and especially to our sistaz, old and young. We’d wish that the present project and its audio collection may become, in time, just a beginning of local audio = listening research among the BaTonga women. There are so many stories, so much knowledge and wisdom among the women still waiting to be found, investigated and documented…

Zubo Docu workshop Women Stories6

We hope that listeners from further afield will also enjoy our recordings and, in listening, enjoy following us into our communities, culture and every-day lives. We’d wish that the publication of the collection will encourage organisations and communities, locally and internationally to engage in similar activities of collective research; and, that we may hear from you and your experiences… you are most welcome contacting us or joining the conversation on FB.

Thank you for listening!

workshop women stories

“Encouraging other women to speak out…!” Caven Mugande interviews Margaret Munkuli about her experience and how she felt making interview recordings in her own Manjolo community. Mugande is Zubo Trust Project Officer; Margaret is one of the six women facilitating local Women’s Forums who were taking part in the audio media training.

Women On-air : World Radio Day 2017

2017/02/12

Joining celebrations of World Radio Day 2017, radio continental drift releases the sampler “Babylon Broadcasts : Women On-air”,  live broadcasts, radio remixes and radio call-outs 2012-2016 by and with Women Radio-makers.

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01 “Wir sind Afrikanerinnen in Hamm…”

– a teaser for a radio show by African women in Germany broadcast in the community radio “Radio Runde Hamm” via the local station Radio Lippewelle Hamm in October 2015; here, featuring soundscape recordings from the radio studio and the first Yes Afrika Festival in 2014. The radio show followed a six months podcast project with the women of the Yes Afrika Club in Hamm and was produced collectively as part of this project.

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02 “JoyFM meets radio continental drift”

– excerpt of a two-hours live broadcast with DJ Petronella and poet Chipego on JoyFM Lusaka featuring poets from Zambia and Zimbabwe (like here, Linda Gabriel) in recordings by radio continental drift; “Poetic Tuesday” as part of Petronella’s show “The Dose” with Claudia Wegener as studio guest; broadcast in December 2012

03 “Radio Lippewelle meets radio continental drift”

– excerpt of Rainer Wilkes’ weekly radio show “Lampenfieber” with Claudia Wegener as studio guest; broadcast in September 2014; featuring, in this excerpt, recordings from Africa on the soundmaps of the aporee radio project, like here, poet Blackheat DeChanti in Mufakosi, Harare. Occasion for the on-air feature was the local project “Hamm Zugehort!” (see track 06).

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04 “Zambezi Women Call-Out”

– call out for remixes as part of the ongoing project “The Women sing at both sides of the Zambezi”. Featuring recordings with Virginia Phiri, Mulenga Kapwepwe, Chiwoniso, Thembi Ngwabi, Sithandazile Dube, Blackheat and Band, Thandanani Women’s Ensemble, Soneni Gwizi and Joyce Makwenda. The resulting playlist of remixes “Cross-cultural correspondence of Women Artists” has since travelled across many international radio stations.

05 “JoyFM meets radio continental drift”

– excerpt2 of the live broadcast with DJ Petronella and poet Chipego on JoyFM Lusaka (featuring here Maya Angelou); “Poetic Tuesday” as part of Petronella’s show “The Dose” with Claudia Wegener as studio guest telling about her “street writings” project and how it brought her from listening and description to sound and radio… and ultimately, to Africa…; broadcast in December 2012.

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06 “Eine Reise mit den Ohren…”

– excerpt of “A journey of Listening…”, a 45’ radio work by Claudia Wegener/ radio continental drift dedicated to the many forms of people’s broadcasts, from “pavement radio” via community radio to the soundmaps of the aporee radio project; featuring here, a visit to a rehearsal of theatre youths (ZAPOTA) and Mary Manzole in Lusaka’s Independence Station followed by a visit to a group of DMI women in Chaisa and a garden party for the founding of Yes Afrika Club in Hamm, Germany; broadcast in the community radio “Radio Runde Hamm” via the local station Radio Lippewelle in April 2015.

07 “Zambezi Women Remixes on CjamFM”

– excerpt of a two-hours live broadcast with Garth Rennie in his regular show “Soundscape Rhythms” introducing the resulting playlist of remixes (to the call-out, track 04) “Sonic Cross-cultural correspondence of Women Artists” and remixing live on-air with early Jazz and recordings of various other projects by radio continental drift, like a remix by Valerie Vivancos on the “street writing” project (2006). The excerpt features i.a. Anna Stereopoulou/ Virginia Phiri, Antye Greie/ Ruvimbo Tenga, Dinah Bird/ Mavis Moyo, Dixie Treichle/ Mavis Moyo, Donna Maya/ Soneni Gwizi.

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08Radio Call Out 4 Zubo”

– a call-out to listeners of Radio Runde Hamm/ Radio Lippewelle in support of the radio project with the women of Zubo Trust in Binga Zimbabwe based on excerpts from DJKwe’s Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” which features in the vocals young women from Binga in recordings by rcd from 2012. In purchasing the Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”, you’ll support the work of women for women across the globe. From the online sales, 50% of proceed go to project work with women in Binga via Zubo Trust and Basilwizi Trust.

09-10 “Women in Fishing”

– excerpt from a live broadcast on the community radio station Zongwe 105.0 FM in Sinazongwe Zambia with DJ Mo, Monica Sianbunkululu and Claudia Wegener/ radio continental drift presenting recordings and stories of women in the fishing industries in Binga Zimbabwe and Sinazongwe; here featuring recordings with the Tuligwasey Women at Sebungwe River Mouth; broadcast in August 2016.

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11 Yes Afrika Women’s Forum Podcasts

– excerpt of Podcast No.5, Yes Afrika Women’s Forum meets Zubo Trust; Podcasts were produced collectively by a production team of Yes Afrika Women’s Forum, here telling about a visit of Zubo Trusts Director, Rosemary Cumanzala in recent recordings and recordings by rcd from 2012 with Abbigal Muleya Mumpande and soundscapes recorded at Siachilaba Primary School in Binga. An excerpt of the Podcast features in the radio show (track 01) and is part of the playlist of remixes “Sonic Cross-cultural correspondence of Women Artists” (see track 04 and 07).

12 “Women Team-Working

– excerpt from a live broadcast on the community radio station Zongwe 105.0 FM in Sinazongwe Zambia with DJ Petty Young, Patience Kabuku and Claudia Wegener/ radio continental drift presenting recordings and stories of Zubo’s Women Forums in Binga Zimbabwe and introducing upcoming visits to Sinazongwe Women Clubs; here featuring recordings with the Chinonge Women’s Forum and also introducing the dance tracks of DJ Kwe in her Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” which here, on Zongwe FM receives its on-air Premiere on the African continent; broadcast in August 2016.

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13 “Tonga Anthem” – track 1 of DJ Kwe’s Album

– 15 dance tracks “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”, which features in the vocals young women from Binga in recordings by rcd from 2012. Here, DJ Kwe mixes two soundscape recordings from Damba Primary School in a joyful dance track and powerful remix of the BaTonga Anthem sung by the pupils of Damba. Track 1 of “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” was released for free download as part of the playlist “Cross-cultural correspondence of Women Artists” in December 2015. In purchasing the Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”, you’ll support the work of women for women across the globe. From the online sales, 50% of proceed go to project work with women in Binga via Zubo Trust and Basilwizi Trust.

Thank you for Listening!

Tonga women on the way to their own media production

2017/02/07

From April – November 2016, Zubo Trust joint forces with radio continental drift/ Claudia Wegener to train Zubo staff and six community based facilitators (CBFs) in audio recording and production.

“Women documenting Women Stories” is the name of the task and the radio project with Zubo’s women.

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The playlist of recordings from the workshop days can document a bit of the journey, which we traveled together in exploring the use of audio recorders among the women Zubo is working with in rural Binga. The playlist showcases a selection of our recordings over three days together, and does so in footage recordings, including our trials to say what we mean, and our giggles.

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On the journey, which you can follow in the recordings, we practiced listening, to others, in interviews and, to ourselves; we explored storytelling and the power of detailed description on a listener; we learned how to talk with machines and how to listen carefully to their playback; we explored the tools of communication, how to encourage our counterparts to enjoy themselves in storytelling; we discussed where we come from and where we wish to go to, or not to go to… ; we practiced translation, listened to the strange sounds of foreign, African languages and, again and again, to the curious sound of ourselves as we speak to others.

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In July, the women went out in to their communities and captured the work of the Zubo’s women in the villages and the Women’s Forum in sound and voices. They also interviewed their elders, mothers and grandmothers, on BaTonga culture, tradition and history.

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The second playlist presents a selection of the recordings which Zubo women themselves made in their local communities and includes some excerpts of statements by the young media women about their experiences as citizen journalists and oral historians in their villages.

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DJ Kwe’s music flies like an acoustic beacon over our journey together with the women of Zubo Trust towards their own media work as young BaTonga business women…

I could stand for my people…” Track 5 of DJ Kwe’s “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” features Linda Mudimba articulately voicing her wish to represent the Tonga people as a Media Woman (based on a recording by rcd in 2012 ).

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In purchasing the Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”, you’ll support the healing arts of DJ Kwe and the work of women for women across the globe. From the online sales, 50% of proceed go to project work with women in Binga via Zubo Trust and Basilwizi Trust.

Twalumba loko.

Thank you for listening.

Women Team-Working

2017/01/17

Some of our first steps on the ground in Binga were to join Zubo in visiting the Women Forums in the six Wards that Zubo is working.

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The women of Zubo’s Forums are doing fantastic work in their local communities. They are assisting women to come and work together as teams, often as saving and lending groups realizing income-generating projects, they pass on training of workshops for example on business skills, they debate issues affecting women and seek for solutions or for further help and, they share community work among the vulnerable members of their communities. A focus of the women’s local work consists in supporting and mentoring girl children. 

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The Women Forums and their communities are often far off the “beaten track” … as you can see when following our steps on the sound maps of aporee radio.

Songs build togetherness, move team-work, release stress, pass on messages and teachings. Every meeting begins and ends with prayer and songs.

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This is how it sounds when the women of Chinonge Women’s Forum are presenting their project work and debating local issues… listen…

At each of those local meetings with the women, we also introduced Zubo’s documentation project, “Women Documenting Women Stories”; we explained what the project involved and what we hoped to achieve with it. Listen to such a presentation at Sikalenge.

In one of our radio shows, at Zongwe FM, across the lake in Sinazongwe Zambia, we introduce the work of Zubo’s Women Forums. Here you can find the playlist of our radio show, a sampler of our recordings with the Women Forums.

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ZUBO Trust is a Women’s Organisation based in Binga working with and for the rural women of the Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe since 2009. Zubo has become widely recognized for its successful work empowering the rural women in income-generating projects, which utilize the natural resources of the remote area such as Fish, Kapenta, Ilala, Baobab or Moringa. In 2012 Zubo made national and international headlines by launching the first Women Fishery Project on the Kariba Lake.

Tonga Anthem… in remix

2015/12/18

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“…The River is for the Tonga people.

The river has fish and crocodiles…  

Our ancestors are ‘crying’…”

 

The above lines came via a quick text message from Michito Veronika, Zubo Trust’s communications officer, currently in the Netherlands, completing her MA dissertation. I had sent her the link to a recording asking whether the song following the Zimbabwe National Anthem was perhaps a kind of Tonga Anthem. “…oooh very nice. you have just made me miss home…,” Michito wrote and added the lines above in translation.

Listen to the recording here:

 

Award ceremony at Damba Primary School 2012

 

“The Tonga lost their land with the coming of Kariba but they have managed to retain much of their rich cultural heritage…”

Keith Goddard writes in his article “one man one note” (2005)

 

The recording of the Tonga Anthem was made in 2012, when I accompanied members of Basilwizi Trust  to an award ceremony at Damba Primary School. Damba is a tiny village, off the main road, in the bush-land near Manjolo.

 

All Africa Sound Map - Damba Primary

 

Together with Sihle Ndlovu, we recorded a number of interviews with women, in English and in ChiTonga and documented almost the entire award ceremony in Damba with recordings. Some clips from that day’s interviews are included in the call-out playlist such as by the young reserve teacher Florence Munsaka, and a Tonga song by Mary Munsaka, mother of one of the pupils.

Some soundscape recordings from the award ceremony are connected to the All Africa Sound Map like this Welcome Song by the Pupils of Damba to the arriving guests

 

Anthem - Damba ceremony

 

One of our contributors, the DJ Audio Storyteller, Crystal DJ Kwe Favel deeply identified with the stories, songs, sounds and voices she heard from the “The Women of the Great River”. Starting with the call-out playlist, DJ Kwe got on a journey of listening across many of the footage recordings from radio continental drift’s 2012 visit to Binga… a journey of listening which is still continuing as we speak and, will lead, so DJ Kwe, to an entire Album of her music dedicated to the Voices of Binga she heard…

The first track of her forthcoming Album however, Crystal DJ Kwe Favel is releasing already, here and now, contributing it as free-for download to “The Women of the Great River” call-out and CIRCE The Black Cut project/ Family Album. In her remix-contribution, DJ Kwe included two of the soundscape recordings of the Damba Award Ceremony, the Welcome Song of the Damba Pupils to arriving guests and, the BaTonga Anthem.

DJ Kwe (pronounced DJ Kway – means DJ Woman) is an Aboriginal Woman from the Cree & Metis Nation of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.

 

 

Describing the samples used in the track, DJ Kwe writes:

  • Flutes – Indigenous to Native Canada/Turtle Island – Voices of our People – Sharing the Love
  • Frogs – symbol of transformation – recorded here on Native land. Frogs are Elders. Frogs live the balance between two worlds that often collide.
  • Damba Primary School Students – Welcome/Greeting Song – Special Tonga Anthem
  • Indigenous Girl Trill – Call for audio warriors to unite.
  • Tribal Drums – A common journey we share beyond the physical land.
  • House Beats – Electronica – a connection, a platform, a foundation to greet the world.
  • Synths – Inspire the world, together! Represents strength and power of positivity through nations across Mother Earth.

 

Damba ceremony gathering2

 

DJ Kwe writes about her contribution and motivation of her music:

“Our Native community is resilient; we have overcome slavery, displacement and documented genocide. It is in our blood to share our stories and oral tradition through audio. That is why it’s very important to introduce digital audio storytelling as another method to preserve our traditional stories and oral traditions. As we rebuild our family structures and heal from the generations of abuse, we are reconnecting through the use of modern tools. It is my goal to repair the hearts of my community through my music and writing. This is a motivational movement through electronica to reach for the stars, regardless of race.”

 

Announcement of DJ Kwe's forthcoming Album dedicated to Voices of Binga

 

The Album will be released on DJ Kwe’s own record label, Wax-Warriors-Records, in March 2016.

 

Siachilaba Baobab

 

“The People of the Great River”: The BaTonga are descendants of those who were forcefully removed from their fertile land at the Zambezi by the British Colonial Government in the 1950s. They had to escape into the arid, higher regions both sides of the Zambezi valley where agriculture is almost impossible. The land of their ancestors is now at the bottom of the Kariba Lake. Even after independence, water and electricity from the dam bypasse them serving others in the country. “Having lost everything, their culture survives strongly as a driving force of self-assertion, resilience and development.”

For information please also see some of the related websites:

Zubo TrustBasilwizi TrustMulongaKunzwana TrustTonga OnAirAustrian Zimbabwe Friendship Association

Women Empowerment… in Binga remix

2015/12/15

… did you ask yourself about women’s liberation in the rural communities of Binga in Zimbabwe…?

The contributions by Sirpa Jokinen, audio artist from Finland, and by Yes Afrika Women’s Forum to “The Women of the Great River” call-out tell us about it – based on the stories brought to us by Rosemary Cumanzala, director of the women’s organisation Zubo Trust in Binga.

 

the new ZUBO

 

“…it’s taboo! I can’t allow my wife to be in the public…”

Zubo Trust began to work with the women of the community in conversational meetings with the husbands, sensitizing the men for women’s issues, that was the aim.

“…but why are the women not speaking…?”

once first steps were done and the women were attending the meetings, Zubo continued gentle inquiring in to the power structures that be…

“…Women Issues are women’s issues! There is no way a man can pretend to be a woman…!”

even the men were coming to this solution, Rosemary tells us in the recordings.

 

Rosemary at Hamm station

 

It is this story – clip10 of the call-out playlist – which Sirpa Jokinen embeds in a resonant scenario with her remix. Listen to Sirpa’s beautiful accentuation of Rosemary’s story of women’s empowerment in Binga:

 

 

Today many women in Zubo Trust’s economic empowerment projects are able to stand on their own feet, fend for themselves and their families.

“…the women of the Kapenta project are even employers of men…”

“…in some families, women became the breadwinners; the husbands are taking care of the children…”

 

the "old" ZUBO - photo: Zubo Trust

 

So goes the continuation of Rosemary’s story documented in the footage recordings of the Yes Afrika Women’s Forum.

Podcast 5, contributed by Yes Afrika Women’s Forum, features Rosemary’s story of women empowerment in Binga and places it in a triple frame: Rosemary’s conversation and exchange of experiences with members of Yes Afrika Women’s Forum in Germany in June 2015; the story of Zubo’s all-women-fishery project told by Rosemary’s junior colleague in Binga, Abbigal Muleya (recorded in Nov.2012); and, the history of the BaTonga’s displacement from the river (using clips 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 14 and 56 of the call-out playlist).

 

 

Craft Centre - women empowerment

 

ZUBO Trust is a women-run organization working with the rural women of the Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe since 2009. Offices are in Binga and Bulawayo. Zubo Trust has accomplished well-recognized work in organizing the rural women, establishing producer collectives, securing women’s lively-hoods, and boosting their independence and self-esteem. One of Zubo’s pioneering initiatives is an all-women fishery project. Further projects include organic agriculture, developing cosmetic products and, the local crafts, especially basket weaving.

 

 

Abbigal Muleya talks about the work of Zubo Trust with the women in Binga to radio continental drift/ claudia wegener, in a recording from 2012 in Binga outside Basilwizi Office.

 

office Bailwisi - Kariba Lake

 

 

Mothers of Education and Custodians of Culture

2015/12/09

 

…celebrated in sonic remix by the vocalist-lyricist-composer Ms. Soli Tii in Berlin, artists/ composer Joseph Ba aka BroodingSideofMadness and the music/ poetry duo Asymmetroi Faroi in Greece and, in visual remix by the painter, researcher and art teacher Agness Buya Yombwe, based in Livingstone, Zambia.

 

Album 5

 

These contributions celebrate the important social roles of mothers passing on indigenous culture and knowledge to their children and grandchildren and, ensuring with their hard daily work, often in subsistence farming, a basic education for their children.

 

 

This stands against the dark background of colonialism – of yesterday and today – leaving impoverished communities where education of girl children became a luxury and child marriages are frequent. Additionally, the histories of colonial interference and missionary work on the continent, often left an imprint of patriarchal social structures on post-independent nations; where possibly before, in matrilineal tribes of Southern Africa, women’s rights and economic independence were safeguarded in indigenous tradition.

 

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The remixes of Joseph Ba and Assymetroi Faroi lend resonance to Linda Mudimba’s “praise song” for her Mum. Linda Mudimba is a student of African languages and Communication at Lupane State University, Zimbabwe (or perhaps she is already working as a journalist writing in ChiTonga – as was her vision…); at the time of the recordings Linda was one of the National Volunteers with Basilwizi Trust in Binga.

 

 

 

From the call-out playlist, Ms. Soli Tii has chosen the voices of two women talking of their mother and grandmother and, something like the love and duty to the culture they inherited through their female elders… Esnart Mweemba (Zambia) talks about her mother’s special art of basket weaving; Simudenda Bertha (Zimbabwe) recounts learning the art of bead-making from her grandmother, now passing it on to her children; she adds an appeal to the Tonga people to value and appreciate their culture. The two tracks could be seen to represent the BaTonga both sides of the Zambezi, one people today separated by the man-made lake of Kariba.

 

 

Ms. Soli Tii herself has started a musical women’s project called the “World Women’s Project”, which as she writes on the website was inspired by “The Women of the Great River”; and is dedicated to the memory of her late mother.

 

red beads on the bed, painting from the Taboo series by Agness Buya Yombwe 2015


I’m delighted presenting the first contribution of an artist from the region to “The Women of the Great River” call-out, Agness Buya Yombwe in Livingstone Zambia. Agness’ paintings are a visual remix to clip 51 in the playlist, a recording in which Luyando and her aunt Janet talk about female initiation rights among the Tonga people in front of related artifacts at the BaTonga Museum in Binga. Here, Janet relates the women’s custom of placing red beads (which she’s usually wearing) on the bed, indicating to her husband that she’s in her menstrual cycle.

A warm thank you to ‪Anna Stereopoulou who created a beautiful page hosting ‪Agness Buya Yombwe art works and, the many stories around the images and source recordings.

In clip 54 of the Call-out playlist, you can hear Agness Buya Yombwe herself talking about her experience of listening to the recordings with Janet and Luyando in Binga.  It was there and then that Agness “promised” making a painting about what she had heard from Janet. 

 

Mbusa teachings - photo Agness Buya Yombwe

 

I played the Binga recordings to Agness, knowing her interest and research about indigenous cultures, and the “Mbusa” (female initiation rights) among the Bemba people in particular. The above photo shows the Mbusa teachings in process at Wayi Wayi Gallery’s permanent Mbusa installation room.

A Visual Artist, designer and art teacher from Lusaka, Agness founded and runs Wayi Wayi Art Studio & Gallery with her husband, the painter Laurence Yombwe, in Livingstone, Zambia.

 

Wayi Wayi on Aporee Maps

Colonial divide-and-rule stories… in remix

2015/12/04

 

“…I’m also fascinated by the Tonga people because they are marginalized like I am…”  (Penny Yon)

 

Zim flag Tyunga School

 

The remix by sound-artist Inge van den Kroonenberg transports Penny Yon’s story of a “mixed race” Zimbabwean to another level and, “extracts” the painful awakening of the people after independence that Colonialism was not over, but in fact continuing in new guises… – though, at least in Inge’s evocative remix, there’s a “tongue in cheek” too; things are never one-dimensional… Coffee may be one of the first and major goods extracted by European colonialists from the African continent – the noises of coffee-making sound like an explosion to a nearby microphone, carrying the history of an ongoing colonial exploitation…; but, “the ritual of coffee-making is bringing people together” to tell their stories…

 

 

Inge van den Kroonenberg writes about her remix:

“I put the original voice recording on microcassette and mixed it with my coffeepot coming to a boil. By moving the microphone and tape deck around the stove the sounds of voice, tape, gas and boiling coffee blend together in a distorted murmur. I choose these particular sounds and the social/economical/political issues they are linked to; gas extraction, transportation of coffee beans and (the history of) colonization as a situation that is still ‘boiling’. But I also wanted to refer to the ritual of coffee making and how it brings people together to share thoughts and conversation in an intimate and familiar way.”

 

Inge’s remix also resonates, to my ears, with the sounds of radio communication.. even Morse code at the start of the piece… and again, as with the sounds of coffee-making, there is a double edge to the history of radio broadcasts, as a tool of oppression, or one of liberation…

 

Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe Zambia - photo M.C.Diess

 

Zongwe Community Radio, a Zambian station across the Kariba Lake broadcasting into Zimbabwe since 2013 supported by Panos Southern Africa, Basilwizi Trust and the Zimbabwe Austrian Friendship Association. So the people in Binga can now hear programmes in ChiTonga broadcast by their “cousins” on the other side of Kariba Lake. In Zimbabwe itself community radio licenses though existing since 2000 have not yet been granted. The state-broadcaster ZBC occasionally airs programs in ChiTonga, but the radio signals cannot be received in Binga.

 

Geography class in Siachilaba Primary School

 

…we are on the grounds of Siachilaba Primary School in the Binga district of the Zambezi Valley… listening to a geography class under a tree…

a clip from the recording also features in the call-out playlist of “The Women of the Great River”

 

Album 4b

 

 

A history of displacement… in sonic remix

2015/12/02

…told by Janet Mwiinde and Luyando Muyalali in Binga remixed by DJ and Radio Maker Lisa Greenaway aka LAPKAT in Australia

 

Damba ceremony 2012

 

It’s the history of displacement of the BaTonga from their ancestry land at the Zambezi, which Lisa Greenaway brings to resonate in her composition. In the original recording, Janet and Luyando are telling me about the meaning of a ritual whereby, during a public ceremony, a woman quietly went around the speakers splashing water from a bucket on the ground. Janet says, the water may refer to the Zambezi, life source of the Tonga people; and her nice Luyando adds that the water may be here a memorial gift to the ancestors, and especially those who lost their lives when the Kariba Dam was constructed by the colonial government and the rising water of the Zambezi flooded the ancestry land of the BaTonga.

 

 

The BaTonga are descendants of those who were forcefully removed from their fertile land at the Zambezi by the British Colonial Government in the 1950s. They had to escape into the arid, higher regions both sides of the Zambezi valley where agriculture is almost impossible. The land of their ancestors is now at the bottom of the Kariba Lake. Even after independence, water and electricity from the dam bypasse them serving others in the country. “Having lost everything their culture survives strongly as a driving force of self-assertion, resilience and development.” For information please also see some of the related websites: Zubo Trust, Basilwizi Trust, Mulonga, Kunzwana, Austrian Zimbabwe Friendship Association 

 

Damba- water ritual 3

 

As I first witnessed the ritual during a public ceremony in the village of Damba, I’d imagine that the water ritual may be part and parcel of many ceremonies among the BaTonga, including most probably initiation or weddings. The two songs in the remix belong to female initiation rites and wedding (as far as I’m aware…). One is sung by Janet Mwiinde, from, what’s now, the Zimbabwe side of Lake Kariba; the other, by Christine, Ester and Mtenda, three Tonga women from the Zambian shore of the Zambezi (though now living in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe).

 

Album 3

 

listen to the sounds of the “water ritual” at Damba Primary School

 

All Africa Sound Map - Damba Primary


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