Hemmington Shoniwa

Hemmington Shoniwa was born on 1 January 1984 in Harare. He went to Hurungwe in the rural Zimbabwe where he did his primary education. After his primary education his family moved back to Harare where he did his secondary education at Kwaedza High School in the Hifields township

and has been in and out of Harare since then.

Shoniwa’s orginal rural home is Chihota village and he is of the Gudo Mukanya totem.

Hemmington comes from a mbira playing family. He was thought to play hosho first. In 1995 he started playing the mbira- Mbira huru- Mbira DzaVaDzimu which he was taught by his older brothers Sam and Magodo. The first song he played is called Chinzenga Mutsvairo.

His father was a rain maker and he passed on the year he was born. The family continued with the rain making culture and he became the rain maker 'wemukombwe'  

He participates in the rukuruwa ceremony.  play in these rain making ceremonies. Until his father

He plays Mbira DzaVaDzimu in Mahororo tuning. He some time also plays at comical venues like the Book Café Harare. 

He says, “It was a family tradition, the Mbira is from our forefathers (VaDzimu) and I respect that. It belongs to them. Mbira is the instrument that has the Zimbabwean Story, and the history of the people.”

“We use it for our prayers and we are the cultural bearers even if other people play it we are mbira and mbira is us.I would like the young ones to learn the mbira. It is our forefather’s heritage to them.”

“We have to start with the schools there should be this instrument in the school, even if i started in the family but not all families have a privilege to get the opportunity to meet this instrument.”

Single: Tanganyika- Playing on radio- Mixed with drums and guitar


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