Posts Tagged ‘Zambezi Valley’

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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Chiefteness Mwenda – as women in Africa we carry a huge responsibility

2019/03/31

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Normally in Tonga culture, they don’t give the position to women…

Trained as a nurse, and a leprosy controller in her district, Mrs Kalichi didn’t have plans leaving her job and ordinary family life. The male folk among the royal family refused to take up the vacant position of the chief – why should they leave their job in town for some “backward stuff” in the remote rural areas of Chikankata Zambia…?!

It’s not interesting, my sister…

Eli Mwiinga Namazuminana Kalichi became Chiefteness Mwenda of Chikankata in 2006. In this interview, she unravels for us why she took the step that her brothers refused, and what it meant for her life to take up the traditional leadership position as a woman, and become the first ever Chiefteness in Southern Province… Today, Chiefteness Mwenda is Deputy Chair of the house of Chiefs; and with my questions, I encouraged her to tell us a little more about the House and its 10% female members.

 

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As women, we have huge responsibility towards all community…

Chiefteness Mwenda feels deep empathy for the women and girls in her district and sees her responsibility as a female leader in taking steps to change the plight of women’s lives for the better.

 

Belonging comes natural with the sound of the drums from the Valley…

Chiefteness Mwenda was a baby girl of three at the time of the forced removal; but her father came from the valley, and the memory of the forced removal and resettlement of the Tonga people and, of the Tonga culture and tradition was very much present in the family when Eli Mwiinga was growing up.

 

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Twalumba loko; special thanks to Sharon Monga for brokering the opportunity to record this interview with Chiefteness Mwenda and for accompanying me on the journey to her native Chikankata.

 

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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

 

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

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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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World Radio Day 2019

2019/02/13

Both sides of the Zambezi: A playlist of on-air excerpts 2018

 

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Hallo Listeners !

Radio-bridging across the Zambezi, between Zambia and Zimbabwe was a focus of activities on the ground 2018. Sharing broadcast excerpts from the Zambezi Valley for World Radio Day 2019, we dream of radio-bridges to listeners around the world…

We” that is the various radio-makers at Sinazongwe Community Radio Station aka ZongweFM; it’s also Mutinta Mukuwa (the white, out-one-out) aka claudia who joint Zongwe team between June and December 2018 for weekly workshops, international projects, and of course many live broadcasts. “We” may also include the many studio guests, we were honored to host, who spoke to us in person or, through recordings and remixes.

We’d like to invite you to go on a journey with ZongweFM Live for two hours to the rural areas North and South of the Zambezi; you’ll hear about a community fundraising concert for Zongwe FM, the local launch of the Radio-Bridge Compilation, exchange visits of women across Lake Kariba, between Sinazongwe and Binga, visitors from Europa, Basimbi Radio, radio making with/ by/ for girls – and many many other things between the lines…

Thank you for listening!

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01. Nosiko’s Concert Jingle – “You are welcome…!!” (02:09’) A jingle for the Radio-Bridge Concert, a community fundraising effort for Zongwe FM. The jingle is a international sonic co-production by Zongwe DJ Nosiko and Mukuwa Mutinta with music from the Radio-Bridge Compilation “Path of Awareness” by Italian composer Valerio Orlandini, vocals by Zubo Trust’s Donor Ncube.

02. Reports from Binga: Women on the water – “They are united…” (10:10’) Nosiko reports from her visit together with Cleopatra and Mariya at Zubo Trust in Binga Zimbabwe and especially about Bhindawuko Banakazi (BB = business women), a coop of 10 women fishing kapenta (mantemba) on Kariba Lake. James questions: could women in Zambia do the same…? Nosiko respondes and reports from the women’s exchange in Binga. What help or encouragement did Zubo women offer to the women in Zambia. Nelico presents; music DJ Kwe “Voices of Binga” track 09 “team work”.

03. Reports from Binga – “Fifty-fifty equal rights…” (15:40’) We listen to a clip from Nosiko’s recordings with BB where the women respond to Mariya and Cleopatra’s questions on how they managed to negotiate the freedom to go to work with their husbands. “In Zambia… we don’t allow women to participate in any activity…” James responds. Three male callers follow up in disbelieve with questions on details of the situation of women on a fishing rig. Nosiko clarifies. Mukuwa Mutinta adds some details from the history of this project of Zubo Trust.

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04. Pumba’s ad-hoc ad for Binga Soap – “Eh-nsipa is the best…!!” (01:15’) This is an edited, chance-recording we made with Muchindu Pumba towards the end of the fundraising concert for Zongwe FM. You’ll here event and music still on-going in the background. Pumba had a long conversation with Matron, felt inspired about the Zubo project and lend her sisters across the waters in Zimbabwe this full-hearted support. Remix with Zubo’s Angeline.

05. Reports from Binga: Jatropha Soap – “We are ready to join…!” (13:20’) We listen to Nosiko’s recording introducing the Jatropha soap project of Zubo Trust. Kasimbi-ka-malaiti (“the electrical girl”) calls a number of times inquiring about details of the production process. Cleopatra, one of the women who went to Binga is herself very interested in the project and ready to reply in detail. Another lady-caller adds with excitement that she and her group are ready to join any project which the women who went to visit Zubo will start now. James presents the show with Nosiko, Cleopatra, Mariya, Mary Mwakoi and Maria of Tusumpuke Women’s Club.

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06. Zubo’s Matron Muleya at Zongwe – “We can learn from each other….” (15:53’) Monica and James talk with Matron Muleya about women’s projects in Binga and Sinazongwe. Soundscape recordings take the listeners to Sebungwe River Mouth in Binga, the fish-farming project of the Tuligwazye women and the Women Fishing Coop “Bhinawuko Banakazi”. James can contribute experiences from fish-farming projects in Sinazongwe. With another audio recording, Monica remembers the wish of Sinazongwe women clubs to learn from Zubo’s women how to weave bags from Malala. The show winds down with a number of tracks from the Radio-Bridge Compilation which had just been launched with the fundraising concert on the day before; here, “We are One” remix by Valerie Vivancos.

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07. Bamukuwa from KDF at Zongwe – “Do you have tribes in Germany…!?” (04:32’) Susan and Pia from Germany are working as volunteers in the youths and gender programmes at Kaluli Development Foundation (KDF) in Sinazongwe. The two women have been in the district for a year now and are about to return to Germany. In the show they look back at their experiences in working with the youths and school children in Sinazongwe. Station Manager, Kennedy Kambole presents, Nelico joins the conversation interested to tease out what the visitors observed as different from their home country. Music: remixes by Donna Maya and Danny Thompson

08. Bamukuwa visit from Austria at Zongwe – “What are the differences…?” (02:56’) Nelico and James talk with Selina and Marion. Their visit at Zongwe continues a history of cultural exchanges and partnership with Free Radio Stations in Austria. Marion and Selina are at that time on an internship at an orphanage for blind children near Mazabuka. Like Nelico and James, Marion volunteers as a presenter at Free Radio Salzkammergut (FRS). James brings up a track from the Radio-Bridge Compilation, a contribution by Macdonald Chiemezie Nwokeji, Nigerian presenter of “Hallo Africa…” a music show at FRS in Upper Austria.

Mo and Nosiko at pre concert show

09. Zongwe Family Show reviewing the concert – “ZongweFM has been born again…!” (11:16’) A show with Kennedy, Nelico, James, Mukuwa Mutinta and many clips from the fundraising concert for Zongwe FM a week before; here for example, Thomas’ praise song for Zongwe, Muka Moonga’s culture dance group, the speeches by radio champion Kasimbi ka-malaiti and Zubo’s Matron Muleya.

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10. Basimbi Radio Jingle – “Join me as your sister…!” (2:01’) Nosiko’s call-out to the girls (basimbi) at Sinazongwe to come and join her in the ZongweFM team. Basimbi Radio was a special venture throughout the school holidays in August with weekly workshops and live shows. The jingle is a sonic international coproduction of Nosiko, Mutinta Mukuwa and DJ Kwe. The music includes instrumentals from “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” album by DJ Kwe tracks 05 and 08.

Matrons show DJ Mo

11. Zongwe Family Show before the concert – “I was the only girl…” (6:35’) On the evening before the concert the entire Zongwe team went on-air with a special show to call the community for the concert with many local musicians and the launch of The Radio-Bridge Compilation as special CD edition. For the show, we received and aired messages of support by Mario, station manager at Zongwe’s Austrian partner radio, Free Radio Salzkammergut, Nervious Siantombo at Panos Southern Africa and Petronella at Radio Phoenix in Lusaka. The message and insert from Petronella inspired vivid response from DJ Mo and DJ Nosiko. The studio – as usual filled with male presenters but plans for Basimbi Radio already in the pipeline, the women presenters, Monica and Nosiko were delighted to grasp the opportunity.

12. Basimbi Radio with Ruth, Knowledge, and Minibas – “You can do it…!” (7:18’) Ruth presents a programme with a number of her friends from Sinazongwe Secondary. Minibas describes how to cook chicken and tomato sauce; others question and contribute; whether to add oil or not is an issue. The girls go into detailed description and have fun with it. A clip from an interview with Chiza Mwinde in Binga; Knowledge adds her encouragement to girls in maths. (Nelico and James have promised to continue the Basimbi Radio series in coop with the school; this is the first show they produced)

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13. Zongwe Family Show before the concert – “A Radio-Bridge across the Zambezi…” (7:23’) A second excerpt from the Zongwe Family on the night before the concert. Muka Moonga sings a traditional song. Mutinta Mukuwa responds. Women’s radio solidarity. Music: Labecca’s song remix by Feralmind

Sinazongwe Community Radio Women's Exchange Visit

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Sales of the Radio-Bridge Compilation benefit radio-makers in training both sides of the Zambezi !

Radio Champion Kasimbi ka-malaiti

Radio-Bridge (pre-release)

2018/04/20

Together with the team of radio-makers at Sinazongwe Community Radio, Zongwe FM and the women of Zubo Trust in Binga, we are proud and happy launching a special pre-release track, remix gift by DJ Kwe to the forthcoming compilation “Radio-Bridge across the Zambezi”.

A compilation of 24 tracks by more than 50 contributors from 17 countries is awaiting you.

Enjoy the listening and Stay Tuned!

All proceeds from the compilation’s online sales will benefit radio-makers in training both side of the Zambezi. Twalumba loko, thank you! for your resonant solidarity!

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.


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