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MBIRA DZENHARIRA @ Chimanimani Music Festival- Mutare

Mutare, Not Applicable, Zimbabwe

Mutare, Not Applicable, Zimbabwe

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"Mbira DzeNharira are in essence a spiritual time machine which brings together the past, the present and the future and magically blends them into an expression through music." The Sunday Mail - The Sunday Mail

"Look to the resilience of the ngoma, mbira nehosho, for they have stood the vicissitudes of time. Time and tide have no washed them away" The Daily Mirror, 26 Oct 2006 - The Dayily Mirror

"Because of cultural demands, he was to turn down another offer for a scholarship abroad to pursue cultural inspirations" The Herald 18 Dec 2004 - The Herald

"It was their debut album released in 1998 that triggered the Mbira Revolution. That album not only became a landmark and turning point not only for Mbira DzeNharira Mbira group but for the whole mbira music fraternity" The Herald - The Herald


Rinemanyanga Hariputirwi
chamukonjora Chakoromoka
Gomo Ramandiriri
Tozvireva Tingaputike Neshungu
Toita Zverudo
Gonamombe Rerume



When one shelves a degree in metallurgy obtained from the first world (GERMANY) and treks down to the jungles and hills of Nharira (rural Zimbabwe), trade clothes for animal skins while announcing that he will now earn his living by playing an archaic instrument called Mbira , which he has never played all his life, then ordering a psychiatric examination for such a person will be considered to be quite in order!
But not for Tendai Gahamadze, the brains behind Mbira DzeNharira Mbira group who got a calling and is now a master Mbira player whose musical outfit has scooped every award consecutively in their genre of music in his native country-Zimbabwe.
Tendai Gahamadze’s story is steeped in deep African traditional belief and stands in stark contrast to modern life and his academic status. Upon his return from Germany in 1986 he was equipped with a lot of knowledge which everyone thought would shape his life but he had other thoughts of doing it. Gahamadze got sick and his family took him to a traditional healer who advised them that he was one day going to be a Mbira player. He stayed at the traditional healer’s shrine getting medication for a month and started giving tunes to the Mbira players although he had no background of the instrument at all and even started teaching them on how to handle the keys properly. He was then advised by the traditional healer to buy his own mbira and work on his music and the rest is now history.
He put together mbira players and back then it was an exclusively traditional cultural music group whose main functions were to play at purely traditional ceremonies where only the very best are honoured to be called upon. It was during this time that the group honed and perfected its staging prowess that it is today.

Mbira DzeNharira are arguably the supreme and absolute mbira music Kings of Zimbabwe. They have firmly established themselves as the indisputable supremos and unassailable maestros of the mbira . Their highly original and complex brand of mbira music has proven both inimitable and elevating them upwards into the realm of the Gods. Everyone is a singer, dancer and instrument player. Mbira DzeNharira’s vocals are one of the finest, if not the best mbira vocals in the Mbira music industry today. Their winning point being that of their bottomless reserves of originality blended with the natural vocal genius of Tendai Gahamadze. Their voices are magical and versatile and are able to create inescapable nostalgia in any listener regardless of the song. Anyone who listens to them becomes one with them. Mbira dance is characterized by the robust display of energy, which is an indication of the infinite reserves of energy and indefatigable stamina accompanied by choreographic precision and uniformity. The ability to synchronize the manoeuvres of their limbs while at the same time playing another instrument is what makes them a marvel to watch.

The mbira music played by Mbira DzeNharira group is totally original, inimitable and highly distinctive from any other kind. That uniqueness and peculiarity is what makes what makes them stand head and shoulders above the rest. Yet in its distinctive peculiarity there are such a wide variety of different musics available within the broader Mbira brand.
There is a particular tone of mbira music for a particular occasion , a particular tune for a particular mood, a particular beat for a particular atmosphere and a particular song for a particular time, place and purpose. Every piece played has a role to play. Mbira DzeNharira can play music that would fit any occasion.
The group does boast unparalleled experience in playing music for any or all occasions. They have played at ceremonies as diverse as traditional Rain Making ceremonies to weddings, parties and corporate functions and even songs of prayer in Religious Praise Worship! They can either create the requested mood and atmosphere or they can play music to fit the prevalent atmosphere.
They are the spearhead in the mass scale commercialization of Mbira music in modern Zimbabwe and in the transformation of the Mbira from an instrument of social and radio entertainment into a powerful industrial tool.

The mbira is the groups primary musical instrument and it is so basic that it is largely the same today as it was when it first emerged in Zimbabwe as long as long back as before Christ. It is the oldest traditional music instrument second only to the drum (ngoma). Its evolution over the centuries has been primarily technical. It is arguably the most amazing and mysterious musical instrument made by man. The ever present technological advancement, the new methods used in the manufacture of the mbira, the use of better quality raw materials have all resulted in the production of a finer instrument than it ever was. Today’s sound technology is better than yesterdays, so inevitably the mbira instrument played today is na