Tag Archives: Zimbabwean music

Zimbabwe Artist Hope Masike Releases The Exorcism Of A Spinster

Hope Masike – The Exorcism of a Spinster

Hope Masike, a vocalist from Zimbabwe who plays the historically male-dominated mbira (thumb piano) has a new album titled The Exorcism of a Spinster. This is her debut solo international release.

Hope sings heartfelt songs about the country that she loves and the changing roles of women.

Preorder The Exorcism of a Spinster


Artist Profiles: Hope Masike

Hope Masike is a Zimbabwean vocalist, mbira player, percussionist, songwriter, fashion designer, painter and dancer. She is known as “The Princess of Mbira” and her music has its roots both in traditional and modern African culture. She is also the lead singer for transnational band Monoswezi.

Hope Masike started performing professionally in 2008 while she was still studying music in Zimbabwe. In the same year she founded her band. She fused Zimbabwean traditional instruments (mbira, marimba, ngoma nehosho) with bass, drums, recorder and guitar.

In May 2009, Hope Masike released her debut album titled ‘Hope.’ In May 2012 she released her second album ‘Mbira, love and chocolate’. Both albums were self-produced. Her song ‘The Land’ (from her first album) became the theme song for the international advert for the All Africa Heads of State summit in 2014.

Hope speaks out about the issues of womanhood in the rapidly changing Zimbabwean culture. “When I was young, my plan was to get married at age 26 and, like my parents, have nine children. When I reached 26, I didn’t even have a boyfriend!.”


Hope (2009)
Mbira, love and chocolate (2012)
The Village (Riverboat Records, 2013)
Monoswezi Yenga (Riverboat Records, 2015)
A Je (Riverboat Records, 2017)
The Exorcism Of A Spinster (Riverboat Records, 2019)


Artist Profiles: Monoswezi

Monoswezi – Photo by Johannes Lovund

Monoswezi is a multinational collective of musicians originally from Mozambique, Norway, Sweden and Zimbabwe. Monoswezi was formed thanks to a cultural exchange program between Africa and Norway in 2008. Hallvard Godal lived in Mozambique and met Calu Tsemane. Soon after, Tsemane and Zimbabwean Hope Masike connected with Godal back in Norway and began making music together.

Monoswezi’s musicians share a passion for traditional African music in general, and specially music from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The music includes traditional and original compositions rooted in traditional African music, jazz and western influences.

Band members include Hope Masike on vocals, mbira, percussion; Calu Tsemane on vocals, percussion; Hallvard Godal on saxophone, clarinet, harmonium; Putte Johander on bass; and Erik Nylander on drums and percussion


The Village (Riverboat Records, 2013)
Monoswezi Yenga (Riverboat Records, 2015)
A Je (Riverboat Records, 2017)


Mokoomba Revals Spring 2019 North American Tour


Mokoomba, Zimbabwe’s leading roots music act returns to North America for a tour of Canada and the United States this April. The popular world music band is set to perform at Brooklyn Bowl, The Library of Congress, Freight and Salvage (Berkeleyn California), UC San Diego’s Price Center, and more.

The group has released three albums: Kweseka (2009), Rising Tide (2012) and Luyando (2017). Mokoomba will be recording their much-anticipated fourth album later this year. More about Mokoomba.

Mokoomba 2019 North American Spring Tour Dates:

4/6: GlobaLocal, Woodstock, VT
4/7: GlobaLocal, Woodstock, VT
4/9: State House, New Haven, CT
4/10: Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY
4/11: Music Haven Stage, Schenectady, NY
4/12: Somerville Theater, Boston, MA,
4/15: Library of Congress, Washington DC
4/16: Spire Arts Center, Frederick MD
4/19: Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA
4/20: Swayz Ballroom, Dallas, TX
4/24: Price Center at UCSD, San Diego, CA
4/26: Town Hall, Seattle, WA
4/27: Imperial Vancouver, Vancouver, BC


Celebrated Zimbabwean Musician Oliver Mtukudzi Dies at 66

Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi, one of the most important figures in Zimbabwean music in the past decades, died on January 23, 2019 at the Avenues Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Oliver Mtukudzi, also known as “Tuku,” was born on September 22, 1952 in Harare. He was an acclaimed guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, composer, actor, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the southern Africa Region.

For more information, read his full biography.


Artist Profiles: Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi was born September 22, 1952 in Highfield, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Oliver’s professional music career spanned more than thirty years and produced over 40 original albums most of them best sellers in his native Zimbabwe. But it was his dedication to the live music scene in Zimbabwe – playing to enthusiastic audiences in even the remotest parts of the country that earned him the respect and admiration of the people in Zimbabwe.

Tuku burst into the world of music in 1977 when he joined the now legendary Wagon Wheels which also featured Thomas Mapfumo. Success came to them early – the first single they recorded together “Dzandimomotera” rapidly went gold and was followed by Tuku’s first solo album (recorded on four tracks) which was also a smash hit. It was with a number of the musicians from the Wagon Wheels line-up that Oliver formed the Black Spirits the band that backed him throughout his career.

After Zimbabwean Independence in 1980, Oliver and the Black Spirits produced “Africa” one of the most important albums of its time and with the two hits it generated, ‘Zimbabwe’ and ‘Mazongonyedze’ the fledgling country found one of its first great voices.

Since Independence, Oliver released two albums every year, establishing himself as a producer/arranger a prolific songwriter and a formidable lead singer. Tuku was so innovative in these various fields that his distinctive music style is now widely described as “Tuku Music”. This is not to suggest that there are no recognizable influences in his work.

The traditional forms of mbira, the South African mbaqanga and the popular jit styles all affected it deeply – but these like katekwe, the traditional drumming patterns of his clan the Korekore were very much absorbed into a music form indubitably his own.

Oliver Mtukudzi

Apart from the individuality of his music Tuku’s enduring popularity largely resulted from his powers as a lyricist. Most of his songs focused on the social and economic issues that govern people’s daily lives. His infectious sense of optimism that pervaded all his music appealed to young and old alike.

His commitment to fighting the AIDs pandemic through his open approach to the topic in his songs contributed greatly to restoring a sense of care and responsibility within the wider community. As the oldest of seven children Oliver developed a sense of social and economic responsibility early in life due to the premature death of his father.

Oliver’s desire to bring his message to a wider audience led him to venture into the worlds of film and stage. Although he participated in several documentaries on Zimbabwean music during the 1980s including the BBC’s Under African Skies and The Soul of the Mbira it was not until 199 that Tuku found film success with a featured role in the internationally heralded JIT – the first local feature film with an all Zimbabwean cast.

Tuku followed the success of JIT with the role of the title character’s brother in Zimbabwe’s second feature film Neria for which he also wrote and arranged the soundtrack. A serious drama dealing with the thorny issue of woman’s rights in a chauvinist world, Neria proved to be another box-office triumph in Zimbabwe and earned Oliver the coveted M-Net Best Soundtrack Award in 1992 against stiff competition, including that of the highly acclaimed Sarafina.

From film, Tuku turned his attention to the stage writing and directing the live musical-drama Was my Child a project highlighting the plight of Zimbabwe’s street children. For this accomplishment the Zimbabwe Writers’ Union honored him.

Oliver Mtukudzi and his band The Black Spirits toured North America in 1999 as part of Africa Fete appearing at many of the premier festivals and stages across the continent.

Oliver Mtukudzi

In April of 2005 Tuku released Nhava (HUCD 312) his debut album on Heads Up International. Mtukudzi said the album – named after the Zimbabwean word for “carrying bag” – is a satchel filled with nuggets of advice encouragement and wisdom for travelers on the journey of life as they make their way through an often-perilous world.

Every song on this album has something to teach about life something to remind you and encourage you about what is important in life ,“ said Mtukudzi who built a vast body of work by skillfully balancing compelling African rhythms and accessible melodies to address social issues relevant to not only his native Zimbabwe but to people and cultures everywhere. “All of these ideas are universal. They are the same for every human being regardless of their culture or their environment.”

Oliver Mtukudzi died on January 23, 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe.


Tuku Music (Putumayo 152 1999)
Paivepo (Putumayo 168 2000)
Neria (Sheer Sound 2001)
Vhunze Moto (Putumayo 199 2002)
Bvuma / Tolerance (Sheer Sound 2002)
Shoko (Gallo Records 2002)
Greatest Hits the Tuku Years (Sheer Sound 2003)
Shanda (Alula Records 2003)
Oliver Mtukudzi Collection (Putumayo 214 2003)
Nhava (Heads Up International HUCD 312 2005)
Wonai (Sheer Sound 2006)
Tsimba Itsoka (Heads Up International 2007)
Dairai (Believe) (2008)
Rudaviro (Tuku Music 2010)
Kutsi Kwemoyo (2010)
Abi’angu (2011)
Sarawoga (2012)


The Early Works of the Queen of Mbira

Stella Chiweshe – Kasahwa: Early Singles (Glitterbeat, 2018)

Kasahwa:Early Singles introduces for the first time a set of rare early recordings by Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano) pioneer Stella Chiweshe. These fascinating singles were only released in Zimbabwe and are very hard to find.

Most of the tracks were recorded in the 1970s and early 1980s, featuring solo mbira as well as mbira with vocals and shakers. Nick Robbins remastered these recordings for Kasahwa and are now available on CD, vinyl and digital.

Playing mbira as a woman was a very difficult task. It was traditionally played by men and Stella Chiweshe had a lot of difficulty finding a teacher and an mbira maker willing to build one for her one. Eventually, she borrowed one and recorded her first single.

Stella Chiweshe became a local sensation. After Zimbabwe became an independent nation in1980,  Chiweshe started touring internationally, first as a soloist of the new National Dance Company of Zimbabwe, and later under her own name.

Kasahwa: Early Singles showcases the pioneering work of Stella Chiweshe on the mesmerizing mbira.

Buy Kasahwa: Early Singles in North America

Buy Kasahwa: Early Singles in Europe


Arts Center in Carrboro Reveals 2018-19 World Music Season

The Arts Center in Carrboro, North Carolina has announced the 2018-19 world Music Season. The series begins on Saturday, September 9th with Black Umfolosi, a Zimbabwean vocal and dance quintet that performs traditional imbue a cappella song and gumboot dance.

The following week, on Thursday, September 13th, the Austin Piazzolla Quintet will perform works by celebrated Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla along with original compositions.

Other shows include:

10/11/2018: Lulo Reinhardt and Daniel Stelter
German gypsy jazz guitar duo

10/13/2018: Rio Mira
Colombian / Ecuadorian marimba and percussion group

10/19/2018: Sona Jobarteh
Groundbreaking Gambian female griot & kora prodigy

2/10/2019: Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas
Celtic fiddle and cello duo

3/29/2019: La Patronal
Peruvian traditional brass band

For tickets and more information go to The ArtsCenter
300-G East Main St. Carrboro, NC 27510
Phone: (919) 929-2787


Mokoomba Announces American Tour in Summer 2018


Zimbabwean sensation Mokoomba will be back in the United States this summer for a summer too. The band made its SXSW debut in March 2018 and was inducted into the Afropop Worldwide Hall of Fame on May 3rd.

This five week tour starts in June and will go across the continent, making stops from the Midwest to Los Angeles and the California desert to Washington DC, and New England.

The band’s discography includes Kweseka (Zig Zag World, 2009), Rising Tide (Zig Zag Word / Igloo Mondo, 2012) and Luyando (Outhere Records, 2017)

Mokoomba Summer 2018 Tour Dates:

6/1 North St Cabaret, Madison, WI

6/3 Central Park Sessions, Madison, WI

6/6 The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN

6/8 Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA

6/9 Miracle Theater, Los Angeles, CA

6/13 Arroyo Seco Live Series, Taos, NM

6/22 Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD

6/23 World Refugee Day Event, Creative Alliance, Baltimore

6/25 African American Civil War Museum, Washington DC

6/28 Fine Arts Council, Warren, OH

6/29 Fine Arts Council, Warren, OH

7/1 Shadyside Nursery, Pittsburgh, PA

7/3 The State House, New Haven, CT

7/4 Feast & Field, Barnard, VT

7/6 The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH

7/7 EarthSkyTime Farm, Manchester, VT

7/8 Middlebury Festival on the Green, Middlebury, VT


Mokoomba Announces Winter 2018 United States Tour



Zimbabwean band Mokoomba, an increasingly popular world music act, will be touring the United States in February and March 2018 in support of its 2017 album, Luyando.


Mokoomba – Luyando


The tour will include Mokoomba’s debut at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas and a week-long residency at the Zimbabwe Cultural Center of Detroit.

Winter 2018 United States Tour Dates:

February 22: BRIC House, Brooklyn, NY
February 24: House of Blues, Boston, MA
February 28 – March 7: Residency: Zimbabwe Cultural Center of Detroit, Detroit, MI
March 9: Taos Brewing Co, Taos, NM
March 11: The Dirty Bourbon Saloon, Albuquerque NM
March 14: SXSW: Russian House, Austin, TX
March 15: SXSW: Flamingo Cantina, Austin, TX
March 16: Freedom Hall, Forest Park IL

More about Mokoomba.