Artist's

NHOROWONDO MBIRA GROUP

 

By Michgan Chinduru- (Intern MSU Music and Musicology)

Joyce Warikanda, leader of member group, was born 27/06/73 in Ngezi hospital in Mhondoro. She attended primary level at Dondoshava primary school (Mhondoro) and secondary at St Peters secondary school in Harare. Joyce began to play mbira at the age of 5 in Chidoro village when their next door neighbor held a traditional function (bira) which had mbira players in 1978 after she sneaked out of the house for this function without the permission from her parents. When the time came to greet traditional healers (masviko), she took mbira and began to play a song Nhemamusasa from nowhere and other mbira players began to join her. After the play, people began to ask who was she and came to realize that she was from Warikandwa family. Father surprised with shock, father took her for some beating as young children were forbidden to go for this function by their parents and also a taboo for a woman to play mbira in Shona culture. After this incident, Joyce ran away from home for some days and family searching for her, the village chief told her father that he did wrong by beating the girl and he went to Mamina village and bought  her a 15 key mbira, that’s when she came back home. She created strong relationship with her mbira as she carried the instrument where ever she went for example when she entertained herself with mbira whilst herding livestock.

1978 she was taken by two comrades, Cde Sachiweshe and Cde Tendai to provide entertainment to the freedom fighters that had a base in Mhanhize/ Mhondoro called Green base. The base was dismissed after they were under attack by the Rhodesian army, that’s when Cde Chiweshe took Joyce back to her parents. Headmasters from schools like Chirozva primary and Zimindo used to take her traditional dances at their schools before she even start grade 1.she was used to be called by different people to perform at their traditional functions like Mabira.

1982 went to Dondoshava for her primary education, and joined school traditional dance group teaching children and other teachers how to play mbira. 1988 when she was in grade 7; Jeffrey Chakwenya who was doing his degree in London came with white promoters to see a young girl talented in playing mbira. Jeffrey went on see her parents because he wants to work with her and permission was granted. Chakwenya formed a group called Svinurai mbira made up of Jeffrey (shakers/hosho, leader of the group and mbira), Joyce (playing mbira), Fobs Chivhanda (mbira), Henry Matimba (marimba), Richard Matimba (marimba) and Onias Machokoto (drums/ngoma).  1988 the group went to London for  perfomances and teaching mbira, hosho, marimba and how to play African drums staying at Cambridge University and also travelled to Scotland, Norwich and New york.  They came back to Zimbabwe same year and Joyce finished her grade 7.

Secondary level had found a sponsor Simon Davis who was willing to pay school bills for her.  When she in form 2 Simon passed away that’s when she dropped out of school because no one could pay fees for her.  Joyce looked for a job and worked at Supreme shop, conductor at Chawasari. 2003 her husband passed away and she sold her car to take care of herself and the other money was used to form a group called Nhorowondo mbira group. It was made up of most talented people as all the members were capable of playing any instrument they used for their performances which included drums, hosho/shakers and mbira. Roles played by each and every member of group, rotated depending with song they will be playing.  The group was made up of 5 members that are Joyce, Tendai Siyanyuwa, Farai Siyabyuwa, Claymore and Claymont.

2004 the group was called by Chakwizira base in Seke Chitungwiza to come and perform at a traditional function (bira). Chakwizira was sparked by their performances and became their promoter. 2005 they recorded 6 track albums called Madzitateguru produced by Oka records. Chakwizira organized shows for the group and joined Chibuku Festival which was held in Zvishavane (2005) and  came 1st winning $10 000 Zim dollars on the competition. The group splitted due to financial conflicts that arose amongst the members and failed to attend another round of Chibuku Festival that was held at Harare Gardens. She then re-formulated the group in 2014 which is made up of 6 members that is Joice (playing rhythm mbira, lead vocals, ngoma/drums and hosho/shakers), Dennis Kabanda (percussion/hosho), Charles Chimbamba (lead mbira), Eliot Muzondo (bass mbira), Regis Zhakata (ngoma/ drums) and Shoko (vembe/sub-rhythm).

DISCOGRAPHY

6 track albums recorded in 2005 called Madzitateguru and a pre-realized album for 2015.

 

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