Archive for the ‘Voices from Binga’ Category

RADIO BRIDGE open call to artists



Open Call to Artists to contribute Remixes, Sound-and Radio pieces for


with a compilation

to be released on Bandcamp in April

in support of Zongwe FM and radio-makers both sides of the Zambezi

Contributions will feature in live broadcasts on Zongwe 105.0 FM and international radio stations


explore and use the call-out playlist for your remixes and radio-work: (I) (II)


Please send your contribution via wetransfer to; WAV 44/16 audio file; include a text file with: title of track, duration, artist’s name, 3 lines of bio and link; 3 lines about your contributions; photo/images 300 dpi. ;

closing date: 21. March 2018

download the call-out and playlist details


Hallo Listeners, Artists, Radio Activists,

In June, radio continental drift will rejoin sound-recordists and radio-makers both sides of the Zambezi for a training- and broadcast project over several months. A special playlist now invites you to join us on the journey by listening. The playlist introduces you to sounds and voices of the Zambezi Valley in Binga, Zimbabwe, and across Kariba Lake, in Sinazongwe, Zambia.

Together with the team of radio-makers at Zongwe FM and the women of Zubo Trust in Binga, we are calling on artists to contribute with remixes, sound- or radio pieces to our live broadcasts on Zongwe FM. Explore and use the call-out playlist for your remixes, as an entry-point to our online archives, and for inspiration to introduce us in remix to the sounds and voices in your daily life.

Resulting remixes, sound- and radio-pieces will be presented and released as a Compilation on Bandcamp in April. All proceeds from sales will benefit radio-makers in training both side of the Zambezi.

Twalumba loko, thank you! for your resonant solidarity!


The rural communities both sides of the Zambezi speak one language, ChiTonga. The BaTonga lost their ancestry land at the Zambezi when the valley was flooded to construct Kariba dam and lake in a huge colonial, World-Bank financed project at the end of the 1950. The Tonga people had to undergo the traumatic experience of forceful removal and resettlement. While the benefits of Kariba bypass most of the rural communities till today.

After 60 years of struggle, the Valley Tonga people have a story to tell about cultural survival, creative resilience and determination for self-help and self-organisation; and this is what you’ll hear across all the archived recordings which are featured in excerpt in the call-out playlist.

Zongwe FM in Zambia was set up in an initiative of local and international, community- and radio- activist organisations to bridge the communication between the divided Tonga communities; while across the lake in Zimbabwe, community radio stations have still not been licensed. Currently, the signal from Zongwe’s transmitter is still only hardly making it across Kariba. Efforts are ongoing to advance the station’s technical set up for direct broadcast next year.

Your contributions will uplift our work to radio-bridge communication across the Zambezi and join us in communal listening even with people in other parts of the world ! Twalumba maningi !



It’s Women’s Turn


Crystal DJKwe Favel turn-table and Zubo women Ilala bag copy

One of my favourite pictures I came across in 2017!

You are looking at a bag woven from Ilala Palm by Zubo Trust women in Binga Zimbabwe on the “work bench” of spiritual turn-tablelist Crystal Favel aka DJKwe in BC Canada…

Encounters of women’s work and vision can extend across history in to the present moment and join distant cultures anew as ancient relations… once Binga Women used to weave their patterns in traditional bead-work; when beads become unavailable or unaffordable, their creativity didn’t stop there, but they transferred the old patterns of Tonga bead-costumes in to their basket-weaving… Zubo women didn’t stop there with their art but found new form in to which to weave their Ilala: hand-bags, laptop-bags and more… Crystal DJKwe Favel joins the round of women’s wisdom on cultural continuity in change, adds beat to knowledge and lets it/ us dance… from beats to beads and baskets to hand-bags and back… in “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” :

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.

Twalumba loko ! Thank you for listening ! Thank you for you support !

Her Story of Rocks


now, i’m finally realizing that there are not many black geo-scientists, let alone women…!”

…like, this isn’t for girls…!”

…my love for geology stared here in Binga!”

The vocals of “her story of rocks” are based on a long interview with Chiza Mwinde in Binga Zimbabwe. Chiza was born in Binga, a place “at the back of beyond” as some have it. She is now studying geo-sciences in the US.

Hear Chiza’s story !

We worked together at the local women’s organisation Zubo Trust, Chiza as an Intern, me as multimedia volunteer. I was intrigued by her art of storytelling… about rocks, her research and, about her life… and I enticed her to share her story with us…

Listen to a playlist of clips from the interview with Chiza


The remix “Her story of Rocks” was created in response to the project and open call-out , “Breaking the Sound Barrier 8”

Excerpts from the interview were treated to various sets of chance cuts and effects, following the inspiration from the music, her story of rocks, the crushing of language and of tectonic plates in the history of the earth.


“Stories of Gardens…” on Datscha Radio



Stories of gardens are better than none at all…”

first broadcast on Datscha Radio Berlin, a 5-days radio-festival from a Berlin allotment garden, August 2017; produced in response to Datscha radio’s open call by radio continental drift

radio continental drift is proud and happy contributing to Datscha Radio in Berlin together with women audio/ radio producers from both sides of the Zambezi and beyond, namely Zubo Trust in Binga, Zimbabwe and Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe, Zambia; DJ Kwe joins the all-female radio-gardeners team from Canada with her music, excerpts from the inspiring Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”.

Margaret Munkuli and Lucia Munenge recorded songs and stories of elders in their communities about their life at the Zambezi before the forced resettlement displacing the Tonga people for the construction of Kariba Lake. The old ladies still danced and played Chilimba at the Zambezi, as they themselves tell, and they could shout across the river to their relatives on the other side; water for gardening was no problem…

DJ Mo and DJ Petty Young took many of these recordings on-air at Zongwe FM relating voices and stories from the Binga community to the Tonga community on the Northern shore of Kariba Lake thus, joining the now divided people in radio community. Radio continental drift joins the dots in the radio piece with bits of narration in English and German to invite further listening communities along on the journey. DJ Kwe’s beats lifts our voices to danceable teachings.

You can even follow our journey to Tonga gardens on the sound maps of aporee radio where you’ll find all the original recordings. 

Enjoy the listening. And have a nice day in the garden!

Sikalenge 2017-03-07 at 23.30.33

Buy the Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”

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 look! Thank you for your support!


Dance of carrots and baobab with stories of gardens and Tonga-song-remix by DJ Kwe performed to link and honour the women of Zubo Trust in Binga, Datscha Radio in Berlin, “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” by DJ Kwe in Canada and Apocalypso Now, a performance party hosted by Alma Tischler Wood and John Wood at Lewisham Art House in London on 25 August 2017.”


Indigenous Knowledge Dance


This beautiful dance track by Crystal DJ Kwe Favel allows us to appreciate cultural wisdom founded deeply in indigenous knowledge.

“…because right now we don’t have the beads; so we are taking the patterns from the beads to the baskets…”!!

Ilala cutting Chinonge

The track was much used in our live radio shows with DJ Mo, DJ Petty Young and women from Sinazongwe on Zongwe FM last August.


Actually, the BaTonga women both sides of the Zambezi, Zambia and Zimbabwe loved that track because, being a weaver themselves, or perhaps a daughter or friend of a basket weaver, they knew instantly what was at stake here: many of the patterns used in basket weaving can be traced back to traditional Tonga beadwork; but right now, beads are hard to come by in the rural areas…, so…!

Ilala Zubo cluch bag at Sinazongwe

Basket weaver Chinonge Womens Forum2

Translated into a universally valid cultural wisdom the teaching says: if one traditionally used base of cultural output subsides for one reason or another the indigenous knowledge and its varied expressions will move on to the next more available output material or channel. Here goes a natural law of spiritual survival.


In the original interview recordings from 2012, which DJ Kwe remixed in her dance track, Viola Mwembe and Barbara Mudimba at Binga Craft Centre explain to me the meanings and origins and uses of patterns. And by the way, DJ Kwe means “DJ Native Woman”. The award winning DJ belongs to the indigenous people of British Columbia Canada. Crystal DJ Kwe Favel knows what she makes her music sing n dance about.


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 proceeds will go to project work with women in Binga via Zubo Trust and Basilwizi Trust.

The picture above  shows Donna and Matron from the Zubo team at Binga office with the poster for the Album. Below, Olga proudly carries an Ilala Laptop-Bag on the way to her office at the Ministry of Women Affairs in Binga. The Laptop-Bag is crafted similarly to the traditional BaTonga baskets from Ilala Palm leave by Zubo Trust’s women.

Ilala laptop bag


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



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)


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.


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.

Sound example 8

Lucia Munenge, Zubo is bringing women together …”



Zubo Women Audio Collection 2016


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.


Tonga women on the way to their own media production


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.



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.


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.



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.


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.


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 ).


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.


if you want to go far…


If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

This proverb is known in many countries of Southern Africa. The women of Zubo Trust practice its wisdom, and follow with it a long tradition among the BaTonga women to work in teams.


Crystal DJ Kwe Favel eternalised the wisdom and voices of women from Binga in an amazing Album of dance tracks “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”.

Team Work”, track 9 of the Album features Abbigal Mumpande nee Muleya in a recording from 2012 by radio continental drift. Abbigal, Zubo’s Monitoring- and Evaluations Officer at the time, now serves her community as the Arts, Culture and Heritage Officer of the Ministry of Rural Development in Binga.


In a letter of appreciation to Abbigal Mumpande, DJ Kwe writes:

“It was my hope to highlight the traditional ways women work together. It’s imperative we maintain our rights as women, not only traditionally, but also as equity workers in this modern world. Women must work in teams to become successful, regardless of race. We believe women are sacred but the modern world has stripped us of ways to protect our inherent rights as Aboriginal Women. This track was meant to inspire a group of women to work simultaneously, together with efficiency. It was important to demonstrate the intricate process that your team showcases as you work in unison standing beside each other. But most of all, I wanted to give you your water back in order to maintain these traditional practices. As Aboriginal Women, we are called Water Keepers. It is our role to maintain water during ceremonies, feast and conferences. Men are the Fire Keepers, as you notice, Water can smother the Fire, if the Fire gets unruly…lol. Our roles are defined by the medicines we carry.”

In her music, DJ Kwe joins the joy of song and dancing with the deep wisdom of indigenous knowledge. Belonging to the Cree and Metis Nation, the indigenous population of Canada, DJ Kwe’s art of healing in “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” embraces the stories and histories of indigenous people across continents. We are invited to join the joyous moment of unity in dance and listening.


Music Sample Description:

Weaving – Allows women to have sharing circles. What is said in the circle is left in the circle.

Tonga Women are Teams, shown through intergenerational support.

Women worked as teams only, supporting, working and weaving.

Weaving has a double meaning – weaving baskets – weaving in the water to catch fish.

You needed to be a team! We should take this advice worldwide, it’s the only way we overcome the titans.

Flute – We mirror this experience through weaving, webbing and beading in Canada. Through Unity we have a new harmony – breaks in track – it all comes together. Zubo is a Tonga name – Critical info for this tribes’ subsistence.

Used the genre Breaks, as more of a chain link song, the beat down, dipping baskets into the water, in uniform, in parts and together. The kicks, snare, juggling beats, mirrors the bending, lifting, carrying and repeat when fishing.

The Flute – We weave together throughout the world, you are never alone.


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.


Download the Press Release for “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”

pictures from Zubo’s Women’s Forum in Chinonge, from International Women’s Day in Binga 2016 and “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” poster with Donna and Matron at Zubo office in Binga


Women Team-Working


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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