KUNZWANA TRUST: TONGA TOURISM PROJECT
NGOMA BUNTIBE of the
VALLEY TONGA PEOPLE
EXCITING MUSICAL ADVENTURES IN THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY, ZIMBABWE
...the heat, the dust, the warm welcome ... brilliant stars in black velvet
skies ... a steady drumbeat shifting and fading on the warm, soft wind ...
family fires flickering in the distance ... ancient story-tellers ... a
brilliant array of the beads of ngoma dancers ... the amazing music of the
ngoma buntibe, with nearly one hundred players ... a river-crossing visit to
the Chief ... a ngoma (drum) workshop ... a visit to the Great River ... a
real insight into rural Zimbabwe and the fascinating culture of the Valley
- and, by virtue of your visit -
an opportunity to help the Valley Tonga of Siachilaba towards self-reliance by
the creation of jobs and development of the Siachilaba Community Tourism
KUNZWANA TRUST is a non-profit organisation "dedicated to the promotion of the
work of Zimbabwean musicians and instrument-makers for fair reward". The word
"kunzwana" is a Shona word meaning "listening and understanding each other."
In the last 10 years, Kunzwana Trust have established and maintained a good
relationship with the Valley Tonga people of Siachilaba, some 900km from
Harare, in the area of the mighty Zambezi River near Binga.
In 1997, a huge project - "The Nyaminyami Festival - a Celebration of Valley
Tonga Culture" was carried out with the community of Siachilaba, in
particular the musicians of the ngoma buntibe group SIMONGA. The project was
funded and facilitated by the Austria-Zimbabwe Friendship Association, and
involved transporting 28 musicians to Bulawayo, Harare and Austria, to
participate in various cultural activities and concerts, where their exotic
cultural displays and ancient music traditions sparked great interest and
earned substantial money. In an exchange of culture, 4 prominent Austrian
composers visited Siachilaba for one week, in residence with the musicians of
Simonga. This culminated in the presentation "Five Reflections on Valley
Tonga music" which was staged in Bulawayo, Harare and Austria alongside
performances of Simonga.
Since their forced removal from the valley to make way for the filling of
Kariba Dam in 1957, the Valley Tonga of Siachilaba have survived on harsh, dry
land, 12km from the Zambezi River, with little more than their vibrant and
exotic culture, which, because of their isolation, remains vivid and strong.
The Siachilaba Community Tourism project is set up to assist the people of
Siachilaba towards self-reliance by enabling them to exploit their rich
cultural heritage to their own advantage, and to offer discerning travellers
the opportunity for a real African experience at rural community level.
Tours to Siachilaba and other parts of Zimbabwe can be tailor-made to suit any
requirements and any duration. (Prices on request).
Kunzwana Trust are a registered tour operator licenced with the Zimbabwe
Tourism Authority (Zimbabwe Tour Operator Lic No: C1519).
Cost: Z$ 2500 / US$125 / GBP 85
Duration : 4 DAYS incl travel
INCLUDES: Transport by comfortable minibus to Siachilaba via Bulawayo and
return Harare - Accommodation in a Tonga home - 3 traditional meals per
day at Siachilaba - musical, cultural and/or touring activities - ngoma
buntibe performance by the group Simonga
KUNZWANA TRUST - Penny Yon
4 Nettleton Rd, Braeside, Harare
Tel/fax : 263 (4) 742065
email : email@example.com
Zimbabwe Tour Operator Lic No: C1519
click the image to get the music in RealAudio!
some more background information:
Simonga- Ngoma Buntibe Group