Posts Tagged ‘Crystal DJ Kwe Favel’

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

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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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Mrs Chilowana Senior Teacher – it is not so easy for the girls…

2019/04/05

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Sinazongwe Primary School was established in 1958 – i.e. at the time of the forced resettlement of the Tonga people. Over the 50 years since it was established, the school didn’t have one female head teacher… as Mrs Chilowana tells us.

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Mrs Chilowana has been in the teaching services for 25 year; the past 10 years as a Senior Teacher at Sinazongwe Primary/ Secondary School. In the interview, we ask Mrs Chilowana to give us a little insight in to the life of a woman in employment and public service in the rural areas of Sinazongwe district. In the first track, Mrs Chilowana tells a bit of her own story…

It’s not so easy…”

In the main part of the interview, we ask Mrs Chilowana to describe for us the social expectations on girl children in the community and how these community customs translate in to challenges in young women’s lives and education…

Girls are expected to do much of the home chose…”

There are various programmes in place to sensitize the community, lighten the plight of the girls and take steps of changing community habits. In the last part of the interview, Mrs Chilowana describes some of the “moderate changes” and tells us i.a. about the activities of the Guidance Office, a re-entry policy to school for young mothers and the involvement of the various stakeholders in the area.

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One of our responses to the situation Mrs Chilowana describes in her interview was “Basimbi Radio” – radio with and for girls, a special venture throughout the school holidays in August with weekly workshops and live shows. Music: DJ Kwe

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The Radio-Bridge Compilation has some powerful tracks, tools for us, that we often played in our Basimbi Radio shows like this remix by Feralmind (London woman DJ) based on a recording by Zubo Trust’s Margaret Munkuli of Labecca singing a warning song for girls…

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Women on-air at ResonanceFM

2019/03/12

In case you missed the live shows on Resonance FM for International Women’s Day 2019 or, want to listen again, here’s your chance to listen to the interviews of NND presenter of  “the workplace” on Resonance:

In the second half of the show, you can hear Rosemary Cumanzala, Director of Zubo Trust talk live from Binga Zimbabwe about Zubo’s economic empowerment projects with  many hundreds of women in rural Zambezi Valley. Music, first Canada Nation’s woman DJ, Crystal DJ Kwe Favel.

Following, Samba Tonga, co-founder of the Women’s History Museum talks live from Lusaka Zambia about the idea and activities of this initiative which currently re-writes history in Zambia in many creative ways.

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And here also the precursor for the show on International Women’s Day, an interview with radio continental drift on “the workplace” at Resonance FM:

“to kick off Women’s History Month 2019, and as a precursor to a special extended episode of The Workplace on International Women’s Day 2019, NND talks to sound and radio artist Claudia Wegener, who founded Radio Continental Drift in the streets of Johannesburg, about the training she conducted with women of Zubo Trust in Zimbabwe – an organisation which focuses on the economic empowerment of women.”

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“I was the only girl…”

2019/03/10

The story of DJ Petronella recorded in Lusaka 2012, recently inspired young women presenters at the community radio Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe Zambia; especially one clip went on-air numerous times in the Zambezi Valley… reactions are also documented … and remixed further…

Encouraged by her Mum, Petronella went for auditions at ZNBC… She was the only girl… Got it! …and this became the start of her career in radio.

We made the recording with DJ Petronella at Kulima tower in the floors of Joy FM Lusaka where she was working at the time in 2012. Listen to Petronella…!

The recording and story from DJ Petronella inspired vivid response from DJ Mo and DJ Nono in a Zongwe FM Family Show in July 2018. The studio – as usual filled with male Zongwe presenters but plans for “Basimbi Radio” already in the pipeline, the women presenters, Monica and Nosiko were delighted to grasp the opportunity for a shout-out to the women and girls in the community to make their voices heard.

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listen to a clip from the Zongwe Family show 

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Excerpts from this on-air show went out even further with the jingle for “Basimbi Radio” a weekly radio opportunity with and for young women on Zongwe FM. Music by Crystal DJ Kwe Favel from the 2016 Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”.

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It’s Women’s Turn

2017/12/23

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 !

“Stories of Gardens…” on Datscha Radio

2017/09/13

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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!

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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!

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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

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…”!!

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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

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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


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