Posts Tagged ‘Binga’

zambezi valley ON-AIR – tune-in 11 August 11pm

2019/08/09

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This is a radio-bridge across the Zambezi and across the world…”

(unten auf Deutsch)

tune-in via: https://oe1.orf.at/player

In 2016, I reached Binga about end of April, just in time to witness and document the first ever celebration of International Women’s Day in Binga Centre. When I noted surprise about the date, I was given the following explanation: International Women’s Day was celebrated as by international agreement on 8th March in the capital Harare after which, celebrations would move on, out to the peripheries, across the provinces of the entire country and into the rural areas… until, finally…

We are in the border regions of Zimbabwe and Zambia; ancestral land of the Tonga people who lived here joined and divided by their river since long; since 1958, divided by Lake Kariba and Nationality.

…the river belongs to the Tonga people/ the river has fish and crocodile/ our ancestors are crying…” (excerpt Tonga Anthem)

Mwayusa bieni,” hallo, good day! This is the place where we are talking from when our words tickle the ears of global listeners. Women of the Zambezi valley have a story to tell. They have made many of the recordings and first broadcasts. They are the protagonists and the directors of their audio documents. They take us by the hand (or, the ear) to daily life in the homesteads and to the work places of women in the rural areas. “Women document women stories” was the title of our oral history project with Zubo Trust. “radio” was not mentioned (but in the long play project description). It is a guarded national territory and a potentially sticky issue (not only in Zimbabwe); and not least, if it comes to “the centre” from the people “of the peripheries”.

Did you ever want to learn some of the secrets of the famous Tonga basket weaving…? Well, listen up, you are going to sit with the weavers and learn to weave malala

You’ll learn a bit of ChiTonga too in the process, because that’s the language we talk and sing both sides of the Zambezi Valley. Banakazi means women; balumi men. Malala is the palm leave used for weaving. A Zubo is a basket for fishing used by Tonga women when the Zambezi was still a stream in this area. Bbindawuko banakazi means business women.

The story the women of the Valley have to tell is no less a sticky issue, up and down the Zambezi and across the world… women self-empowerment, women economic empowerment through unity and team work. You’ll witness live as they talk to their Zambian sisters, the Bbindawuko Banakazi, registered name of the first women fishing cooperative on the lake. Their women-friendly kapenta rig is called Zubo.

Ngazi yamano means store house of knowledge; it is a name for Zongwe FM station in Sinazongwe Zambia. Zongwe FM was born in Zimbabwe more than ten years ago from the vision of a radio for the people both sides of the valley. Until today and despite many efforts, radio waves have not yet reached the valley people at large to bridge what divides. The women’s audio and radio recordings have gone around the lake; with the “news” of women self-empowerment, they went across the water, to the other side and even, across the world. Slow broadcast is radio too. The stories of the women have (been) zipped out of HD, CD and online archives into the everyday somewhere, boiled like malala in the heads of radio artists and audio activists until they are soft and coloured, ready for audio-weaving. Twined in rhythm, they return as surprisingly patterned sonic teachings and radio gifts, tickle the mind and make it and us dance.

…there’s a pattern, and you can hear the pattern going and coming…”!

radio continental drift has accompanied the women in their journey of audio and radio self-empowerment; and has listened to the weavers for inspiration on how to interlace audio and radio threads from the archives. According to what methods and measures could we cut or slice sonic matter and radio streams for weaving storylines inside out in a circle or helix manner; adding audio “pins” or warp inserts where required to increase the diameter smoothly in a patterned flow of sounds, words and voices…?

here’s our radio-basket, from Zambezia* for global broadcast….

Twalumba loko kutuswiilila / Thank you for listening

Zambezians* in radio solidarity: Abbigal Muleya Mumpande, Alan Dunn, Anna Stereopoulou, Barnaby Spigel, Bbindawuko Banakazi Coop with chairlady Cecilia, Budima musicians, Bulemu Mutale, Caven Mugande, Chiefteness Mwenda, Chiza Mwinde, Claudia Wegener aka Mutinta Mukuwa, Cleopatra Nchite, Crystal DJ Kwe Favel, Danisa Mudimba, Daphna Naftali, Diana Mwemba, disquetteïs, Donor Ncube, Dorothy Nosiko Mundia, Eunice Mwinde and her grandmother (banene), Esnart Mweemba, Felicity Ford, Feralmind, Godsglory JibrilEllams, Gogo aka Thembi Ngwabi, James Teelela, Kasimbi-ka-malaiti, Kennedy Kambole, Labecca Munkuli, Lisa Greenaway aka DJ Lapkat, Lucia Munenge and banene Ester, Luyando Muyalali and Janet Mwiinde, Lydia Banda Ndeti, Macdonald Chiemezie Nwokeji, Margaret Munkuli and her mother, Mario Friedwagner, Mariya Ntandiyana, Matron Muleya, Meira Asher, Monica Sianbunkululu aka DJ Mo, Monga Sharon, Mulenga Kapwepwe, Mweezya and Mweeka Women Clubs, Natasha, Nelico Mweetwa, Niki Matita, Nonhlanhla Mathe, Notani Munkuli, Patience Kabuku aka DJ Petty Young, Patricia Viencent aka NND, Penny Yon, Pupils of Damba Primary, Rosemary Cumanzala, Simatelele Women’s Forum, Simudenda Bertha, Soli Tii, Tamisha-Osamie, Terence Humphrey aka Trunkstore Arts, Tom Miller aka Comrade Squelch, Tonsodba Tshuma, Tusumpuke Saving Group and Nsenga Women’s Club, Tuligwazye Women, Valerie Vivancos, Valerio Orlandini, Viola Mwemba and Barbara Mudimba, Virginia Mwembe, weavers at Bunsiwa and Chinonge, Yvonne Chipo Makopa, Zubo Trust, Basilwizi Trust, Zongwe FM, Freies Radio Salzkammergut, i.a.

*the “Zambezians” („MaZambezi“) was a derogatory name for the Tonga people in Southern Rhodesia at the time after their forced resettlement; the name “Zambezia” for this area can be traced back to Victorian times

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radio/ remix/ archives,

remixes, (of “Radio-Bridge” Compilation, if not otherwise stated)

  • Crystal DJ Kwe Favel, “Voices of Binga” Album tracks 01, 09, 13, 15; and
  • Beautiful Warning” feat. Labecca Munkuli (unpublished)
  • Barnaby Spigel, “Women of the Great River” spigelsound dup mix (in “Vox”)
  • disquetteïs, “Zubo” feat. Lucia Munenge
  • Felicity Ford, feat. Esnart Mweemba (in “Vox”)
  • Feralmind, “Warning Song for Girls” feat. Labecca Munkuli
  • Niki Matita, “Haze’s Garden Radio”
  • Soli Tii, feat. Simudenda Bertha (in “Vox”)
  • Thomas Miller, “Zimbabwean Geology”
  • Valerie Vivancos, “We Are One”
  • Valerio Orlandini, “Path of Awareness” feat. Donor Ncube

broadcast excerpts,

original footage recordings,

Donor Ncube, Margaret Munkuli, Eunice Mwinde, Lucia Munenge, Caven Mugande, Nosiko Mundia, Monica Sianbunkululu, Patience Kabuku and Claudia Wegener; archived under cc license online

cover art Radio-Bridge Compilation: Trunkstore Arts

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Eine Radiobrücke über den Sambesi und um die Welt…”

(“This is a radio-bridge across the Zambezi and across the world…” )

2016 erreichte ich Binga ungefähr Ende April, gerade rechtzeitig, um die erste Feier des Internationalen Frauentags im Zentrum von Binga mitzuerleben und zu dokumentieren. Als ich Überraschung über das Datum anmerkte, wurde mir Folgendes erklärt: Internationaler Frauentag wird nach internationaler Vereinbarung am 8. März in der Hauptstadt Harare gefeiert, wonach die Feierlichkeiten sich über die Provinzen des gesamten Landes hinaus- und weiterbewegen in die Peripherien und die ländlichen Gebiete… bis sie endlich…

Wir befinden uns in den Grenzregionen von Simbabwe und Sambia. Die Tonga leben hier seit Urzeiten, verbunden und getrennt durch ihren Fluss; und seit 1958 geteilt durch den Kariba Stausee und die Nationalität.

Der Fluss gehört den Tonga/ im Fluss gibt es Fische und Krokodile/ unsere Vorfahren weinen…”

(Textauszug Tongahymne)

“Mwayusa bieni”, hallo, guten Tag! Dies ist der Ort, von dem aus wir sprechen, wenn unsere Worte die Ohren globaler Zuhörer kitzeln. Frauen aus dem Sambesi-Tal haben eine Geschichte zu erzählen. Sie haben viele der Aufnahmen und ersten Sendungen gemacht. Sie sind die Protagonistinnen und die Regisseurinnen ihrer Audiodokumente. Sie führen uns an der Hand (oder am Ohr) tief in den Alltag auf den Höfen und zu den Arbeitsplätzen der Frauen auf dem Land. „Frauen dokumentieren Frauengeschichten“ war der Titel unseres Oral History Projekts mit den Frauen von Zubo Trust. “Radio” wurde nicht erwähnt (ausser in der long play Version der Projektbeschreibung). Radio ist Territorium nationalen Sicherheitsinteresses und ein potenziell heikles Thema (nicht nur in Simbabwe); und nicht zuletzt, wenn die Sendung in “verkehrter” Richtung ausgestrahlt wird, von Menschen der Randgruppen und Minderheiten ausgeht.

Wollten Sie schon immer einmal einige der Geheimnisse des berühmten Tonga-Korbflechtens kennenlernen…? Nun, hör zu, du wirst bei den Weberinnen sitzen und es lernen, Malala zu weben…

Nebenbei lernst du auch ein bisschen ChiTonga; denn in dieser Sprache sprechen und singen wir hier zu beiden Seiten des Sambesi-Tals. Banakazi bedeutet Frauen; Balumi Männer. Malala ist das Palmblatt, das zum Weben verwendet wird. Ein Zubo ist ein Korb für den Fischfang, von den Tonga-Frauen benutzt als der Sambesi hier noch ein Fluss war. Bbindawuko banakazi bedeutet Geschäftsfrauen.

Die Geschichte, die die Frauen des Tals zu erzählen haben, ist nicht weniger heikles Thema, sowohl am Sambesi, als auch in der restlichen Welt… Selbst-Emanzipation von Frauen, wirtschaftliche Selbstständigkeit von Frauen durch Einheit und Teamarbeit. Sie werden es live miterleben, wie die Bbindawuko Banakazi, dies ist auch ihr offiziell registrierer Name, ihren Schwestern aus Sambia ihre Geschichte erzählen: die Geschichte der ersten Frauenfischerei Cooperative auf dem Kariba See. Ihre frauenfreundliche Kapenta-Rig heißt Zubo.

Ngazi yamano bedeutet Speicherhaus des Wissens; es ist ein Name für Zongwe FM Radio in Sinazongwe Sambia. Zongwe FM wurde vor mehr als zehn Jahren in Simbabwe geboren aus der Vision eines Radios für die Menschen auf beiden Seiten des Tals. Trotz vieler Bemühungen haben Radiowellen noch nicht die Talbevölkerung zu beiden Seiten erreicht, um zu überbrücken, was trennt. Die Ton- und Radioaufnahmen der Frauen sind mit den “news” der Selbst-Emanzipation von Frauen um und über den See, auf die andere Seite und sogar in die Welt gegangen. Slow broadcast ist auch Radio. Die Geschichten der Frauen sind/ wurden aus HD, CD und online Archiven in den Alltag anderswo gezippt, haben wie Malala in den Köpfen von Radiokünstlerinnen und Audioaktivistinnen gekocht, bis sie weich, bunt und webfähig für die Ohren sind. In Rhythmus verwoben, kehren die Geschichten als erstaunliche Klang-Muster und Radiogeschenke zurück, kitzeln das Hirn und bringen es und uns zum Tanzen.

“…es gibt ein Muster; du kannst es kommen und gehen hören… ”!

radio continental drift hat die Frauen auf ihrem Weg der Audio- und Radio-Selbst-Emanzipation begleitet; den Korbweberinnen zugehört, und sich von ihnen inspirieren lassen. Nach welchen Methoden und Maßen können wir Audio- und Radiofäden aus den Archiven verweben; wie das Klangmaterial und Radiostreams schneiden, oder spalten, und von innen nach außen im Rund oder Helix zu Handlungslinien weben; wie Audio-Kettfäden hinzuflechten und den Durchmesser im gemusterten Fluss von Klängen, Worten und Stimmen vergrößern?

Hier ist unser Radio-Korb, von Sambesia* für den weltweiten Rundfunk…

Twalumba loko kutuswiilila/ Danke fürs Zuhören

(…)

* Die “Sambesianer” („MaZambezi“) war ein abfälliger Name für die Tonga in Southern-Rhodesia in der Zeit nach der Zwangsumsiedlung; der Name “Sambesia” für dies Gebiet kann bis in Viktorianische Zeit zurückverfolgt werden

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Breaking Barriers – DJ Kwe unites indigenous women in music

2019/04/24

Crystal DJ Kwe Favel “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” album was released in early April 2016. Kwe’s dance tracks of electronic drum music are dedicated to the Tonga people in Binga Zimbabwe.

Kwe herself belongs to the Cree and Metis, indigenous people of BC Canada. DJ Kwe – that is, “DJ native woman” [pronounce: kway] – listened to many of the 2012 recordings from Binga by radio continental drift; she heard her relations and ancestors speak in the Voices of Binga:

This is the story of my people…” she wrote to me, “i want to make an album of my music dedicated to the Tonga women…”. And she did…

Award ceremony at Damba Primary School 2012

Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” went public the very day I took off to Binga to join Zubo Trust women on the journey to their own media production. “Women document women stories” is an oral history collection recorded by Zubo women in their villages, communities and Women Forums.

When I traveled around Lake Kariba to join women producers at Zongwe FM in Zambia, oral history became “radio active” and Binga women recordings built a radio-bridge between Tonga communities both sides of the Zambezi.

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DJ Kwe’s dance tracks were part and parcel of these three-in-one journeys. Her music joint women across frontiers in listening to each others stories, uniting indigenous knowledge from Canada and Zimbabwe in contemporary dance tracks, and marrying oral-history-in-remix to contemporary electronic media and music.

 

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Women on-air Mweezya Sinazongwe

Zubo Docu workshop Women Stories8

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Prior to the release of “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”, and starting from Kwe’s first contact to me, another amazing, but much more hidden journey unfolded… The album was produced in a year long email and listening correspondence between DJ Kwe’s studio on the West coast of Canada and my attic room somewhere on the Eastern edge of the Ruhr-Valley in Germany.

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The journey here unfolds entirely between two pairs of ears and imaginations. Crystal would choose the tracks which spoke to her most clearly and which she wanted to remix; send me her tracks packaged in her thoughts and descriptions of musical elements; I would listen, and listen again, and write comments, recommend different or related recordings, highlight certain excerpts, and package it all with my storytelling of local experiences in Binga and bits of ChiTonga knowledge.

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

In finalising the Album, DJ Kwe wrote letters of appreciation and gratitude to all the vocals featured in “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”. Displayed here in image are the letters for tracks 2 and 9 both addressed to Abbigal Muleya, at the time monitoring- and evaluations officer with Zubo Trust.

 

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Abbi tells the story of the traditional team work of Tonga women, how it can even break barriers for women, and how it came to stand at the very centre of Zubo women’s work.

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Download the Letters of Appreciation From DJ Kwe

During my stay in Binga in 2016, I made an effort that the letters, appreciation, and music of DJ Kwe reached firstly those who were featured in the music. This included a visit to Siachilaba Primary School meeting Mr Kelias (former Head of School; track 4, The Baobab Tree) and Jossam Munkuli, keeper of the horns of Tonga Simonga musicians (track 14 Revitalise our culture).

 

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Together with Luyando Muyalali (tracks 10 and 14), we walked the 8 km from Manjolo to her native Damba. The Tonga Anthem included in the album’s first track was sung by children of Damba Primary School and recorded during an award ceremony under the tree…

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Gogo – an ancient voice of the future

2019/03/28

 

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Thembi Ngwabi prefers to be called Gogo; ugogo meaning “granny, grandmother” in Ndebele. Even in 2012, when we recorded our first interview at Amakhosi Cultural Centre, the title of the elder and, an ancestral calling was already with Thembi. In 2013, I found her just relocated to the Lupane bush, in search of a realisation for her calling, and with a programme of cultural dance for local women and children at hand. We documented also this encounter with recordings.

The rain rituals have taken over my life…

In the present recording from October 2018 made at CoCont (Cont’s place) in Lupane, you may listen to the story of a demanding calling in Ugogo’s own words and voice. She describes her transformation from a young creative woman grown up in town (Bulawayo), a dancer, bass-guitarist, director of plays and films and of the Amakhosi Performing Arts Academy to a rapidly-aged, traditional rain-dancer in the Lupane bushland who follows spiritual instructions to build a new rain-making shrine which, as she has is linked straight to the Njelele shrine…

Almost everyone in Binga knows Maalila…

I ask Gogo in particular to tell us about her recent research in Binga. She had discovered that the geographically and historically closest rain-maker to her area in Lupane had lived in Binga. They went for a two-weeks research to Binga, and got to know the story of Maalila. He used to perform rain-making rituals at Binga’s hot springs until the Zimbabwe government and National Parks claimed the land as private property. Based on Gogo’s research, a thirteen-episode TV series about Maalila was developed and produced in Binga.

We need to go back to where we lost ourselves…

I also encourage Gogo to talk about her role as a woman in local culture and a woman leader of a new spiritual centre. I’m interested in Gogo’s contemporary open-mind now joint by an ancient voice; and curious about what I hear as a balance between a revival of culture and a celebration of diversity. Gogo ends the interview on a strong call and vision for her people… “we are fake… we don’t know what we are doing… we need to go back to where we lost ourselves…then, we can move on…”

Ugogo and her girl apprentice perform a traditional rain-making song.

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I felt shy photographing Ugogo… thus the pictures show mainly the dry Lupane bushland… and the trail of what was Cecil Rhodes’ dead-straight road through the bush….

Bulemu Mutale – South-North Volunteer

2019/03/24

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She was fortunate being encouraged to go to school… Bulemu Mutale tells us her story of a young woman growing up in the rural areas near the Zambezi, but also describes for us in detail how we can imagine the life of young women in Binga to look like…

I grew in a community where education for young women was not prioritised….”

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With the help of her grandmother, Bulemu completed school. Her mother had passed on; then her father lost his job and became ill. Bulemu started working in a local super market and picked up the role of the breadwinner for the family. The money job didn’t satisfy her. She started volunteering at an orphanage, Sunrise Children’s Home and discovered her passion: working with children. When she got involved in helping packaging products like soap and baskets of Zubo women, she also began volunteering for Zubo Trust regularly.

I am going there as “Zubo”… maybe i’m going to call myself “Zubo”…!”

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In 2018, Bulemu was chosen to participate in an exchange programme and go to Germany in January 2019. This interview was recorded in November, and in it, I encourage Bulemu to travel ahead with her imagination and share with us her expectations, her questions, her fear, and her projects…

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By now Bulemu is already working as a volunteer in a kita in Bielefeld. She is one of 16 young people from the global Souths to participate in a South – North exchange programme at Welthaus Bielefeld, which allows young volunteers from the global South to gain experiences in Germany in their chosen area of social engagement.

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ZUBO Trust is a women’s organization working with the rural women of the Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe since 2009. 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.

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Bulemu and world Map Bielefeld

 

Penny Yon – a voice of inspiration

2019/03/22

…and, a hand or two of crucial support to many artists in Zimbabwe and beyond, that’s the musician and arts admin Penny Yon.

1 Penny Yon portrait Hall of Fame

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In 2012, I managed to lure Penny away from her demanding work at Book Cafe/ Pamberi Trust, and record this interview with her. An amazing storyteller, Penny writes her-story as she speaks and a couple of other histories in the Zimbabwe Arts and BaTonga cultural exchange too…

At the time, just before my first visit to Binga as a guest of Basilwizi Trust, I was particularly interested hearing Penny’s experiences of life in Binga; as Penny lived there for a number of years with her family working for Keith Goddard’s Kunzwana Trust with and for the musicians in Binga, and later, for the Tonga.Online project jointly with Peter Kuthan and the Zimbabwe Austrian friendship Association.

Hear Penny’s account of the Tonga.Online project reaching for the first time across Lake Kariba from Binga to Sinazongwe….

Penny’s audio history-writing was very recently a poignant contribution to live shows on Zongwe FM, when we were re-visiting steps in storytelling the long journey of inter/cultural relations and exchange across Lake Kariba between the Tonga people and especially, with Zongwe FM, the beginnings of Tonga radio-bridging across the Zambezi (stay tuned as we’ll also soon archive the Zongwe FM shows of 2018…!)

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Penny Yon – a voice of inspiration in remix…

Before travelling to Binga in 2016 for the project with Zubo Trust “Women document women stories”, we run a remix call-out in support of the project and Binga women. It was clips from Penny’s 2012 interview recordings which scored the largest number of remixes in the call-out… hear just some… more here

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Women’s empowerment… in Binga remix

2019/03/04

… did you ever ask yourself about women’s empowerment in the rural areas of Zimbabwe…?

The Women’s organisation Zubo Trust in rural Binga, Zambezi Valley can tell a story or two about the issue.

In this recording from 2015Rosemary Cumanzala, the director of Zubo Trust can be heard in conversation with African women based in the Germany, Yvonne Chipo Makopa from Zimbabwe, Godsglory Jibril-Ellams from Nigeria and Claudia Wegener, Germany.  At the time they were running a podcast radio project with the Women’s Forum of Yes Africa e.V. in Hamm Germany.  

Listen to Rosemary Cumanzala live from Binga for the most recent updates on Zubo’s economic empowerment projects on International Women’s Day 8 March 1:30 pm GMT when she will talk with N.N.D. presenter of “the workplace” on Resonance fm London

the new ZUBO

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“…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.

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

“…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…”

 

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The Women of Yes Afrika Women’s Forum, featured their meeting with Rosemary and her story of women empowerment in Binga in a podcast:

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“Zubo Trust brings women together for self-empowerment”

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ZUBO Trust is a women economic empowerment organisation partnering with the rural women of Binga in Zimbabwe since 2009.  Zubo Trust has accomplished well-recognized work in organizing the rural women, establishing producer collectives, securing women’s lively-hoods, and boosting women’s independence and self-esteem through capacity building trying. One of Zubo’s pioneering initiatives is an all-women fishery project on Kariba Lake. Further projects utilising natural resources include organic agriculture, the production of soap from Jatropha seeds and, the local crafts, especially basket weaving.

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Rosemary’s story of women’s empowerment in rural Zimbabwe beautifully remixed by artist Sirpa Jokinen in Finland.

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Her Story of Rocks

2017/11/04

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.

Indigenous Knowledge Dance

2017/06/02

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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

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.

Sound example 8

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.


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