Zimbabwe ‘World Music’ in the heart of East London
When you think of World Music, our mind gravitates to obscure places with exotic voices and instruments. Well, that is because we classify pop and western music as the mainstream and everything else as other.
In the heart of East London, United Kingdom performs Gabriel Makamanzi with his Zimbabwean Mbira known in the Western world as a thumb piano, wooden Marimba – similar to the Xylophone in the Western world and the Hosho which some may associate with as Maracas.
Mbira, Marimba and Hosho have strong historical; spiritual, cultural, and ecological legacies. Born out of the Shona culture of Zimbabwe, these instruments play a significant role in communicating with the community, environment and their ancestors.
Gabriel ‘Sekuru’ Makamanzi (also known as Sekuru), is famed for his knowledge and talent with these instruments, has spent several years educating and entertaining audiences. Founder of Afresh Band in Northern Ireland who has performed for the past 18 years at various festivals across the United Kingdom, as well educate children of all ages and abilities, he is known within his community as an influential voice and expert on these instruments.
Gabriel ‘Sekuru’ Makamanzi said,
“The Mbira, Marimba and Hosho have been part of my existence since I was born. I was fortunate enough to be part of a community where I witnessed these instruments created from genesis. I have also had the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest artists from Zimbabwe, including The Late Andy Brown, Garikayi Tirikoti, Ambuya Stella Chiweshe and Thomas Mapfumo. And it is through these experiences; I found a sound which I labelled Chidzimba music which derived from the heart and channels the essence of those who have gone before me.”
“I want to share the joy I have derived from these instruments with the world and with those who may not have the opportunity to touch, feel and experience these beautiful tools. 2020 will be the year when I will be sharing my love, passion and knowledge of the Mbira, Marimba and Hosho with the world.”
Gabriel is currently preparing to release many classes, workshops and seminars about and with the Mbira, Marimba and Hosho. If you are a school, community group or Local Authority or wish to host Meditation Workshops or private classes, or you want to learn more, contact Gabriel ‘Sekuru’ Makamanzi at email@example.com
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Sekuru’s workshops include activities such as:
- African music
- African dance classes
- African games
- Handmade crafts
The workshops are for all levels beginners, intermediate and those wishing to become more experienced.
The workshops are facilitated by Gabriel ‘Sekuru’ Makamanzi, who is an exceptionally experienced marimba and mbira music teacher. Sekuru also works with local professional musicians who make and produce a unique blend and medley of music - portraying how we can put our different cultural backgrounds together through the language of music.
The workshops are friendly and cover all you need to know to start playing mbira and marimbas. Additional percussion instruments and simple improvisational skills will also be introduced and taught.
Workshop Facilitator: Gabriel ‘Sekuru’ Makamanzi
‘Sekuru’ is not only a performer but also an educator. He offers workshops in different aspects of the arts as a way to preserve culture.
Sekuru offers workshops in traditional Zimbabwean music, using traditional instruments that play a pivotal role in our lives:
- Mbira (thumb piano)
- Drums and Hosho (rattles)
The combination of the above three instruments give a sensational rhythm to traditional Shona music - Shona is a tribe and a language spoken in Zimbabwe.
Voice: Workshops are offered in level voice training accompanied by Shona songs. Voice is the first instrument that almost everybody has and can use freely. All instruments imitate from the voice. Sekuru persuades and frees the inner voice. Once the inner voice is persuaded to come out, then it gives itself a direction.
Dance: Workshops in traditional dances that are accompanied by the Traditional music
- Mbira – dancing to Mbira music
- Mbakumba - a thanksgiving dance
- Mhande - a mermaids dance
Meditation: Workshops in meditation exercises to Mbira music.
Self-care meditation exercises help to discover more of oneself inwardly, thereby relaxing your body and soul and above all - reducing stress.