This Unknown Band From Zimbabwe Is Gaining International Recognition After Being Discovered On Instagram

“Music is a universal language. It gives energy to each and every person regardless of age, color, religion or whatever they believe in. It connects us all as one,” said Tinashe William Masangudza, a Zimbabwean singer and multi-instrumentalist from the Afro-acoustic band Gwevedzi.

Masangudza, who credits his grandfather’s playing of the Zimbabwean mbira, along with “something I was born with inside,” for his early interest in making music first learned of Play Music on the Porch Day when someone tagged Mallman in one of the band’s posts. The two became friends, and Masangudza and his band began participating in Play Music on the Porch Day in 2018.

“It was awesome,” said Masangudza of the experience. “We called Brian on Whatsapp, a video call, and we played here in Zimbabwe. It was around 4 a.m. our time, 7 or 8 p.m. in L.A. Play Music on the Porch Day is a platform whereby it unites people from different countries around the world. You all just want to play music and fill your soul with music.”

Gwevedzi, his band, is currently collaborating with a Brazilian opera singer now living in Portugal, MarĂ­lia Zangrandi Rocha, thanks to connecting through Play Music on the Porch Day.

Officially the last Saturday of August is Play Music on the Porch Day which brings people from all over the world outside to join in a global, shared act of creating music in the spirit of peace and connection. The idea was born six years ago, when founder Brian Mallman, an L.A.-based artist got the itch to create a “global collaborative art piece” as a conduit for creating a peace-making movement. But the idea wasn’t to pour massive amounts of energy into it. In fact, it was just the opposite.

“It was based on the idea of taking action on a regular basis towards a goal, that goal being a better world for all of us,” he explained. “But it was taking action in a similar way to brushing your teeth or making your bed; something small that you do everyday.”

He began by using hashtags on Instagram to search for stringed instruments from around the world, then connected with players by reaching out on social media and explaining the project. Everyday for a year, he said, he spent a little time using social media to learn about instruments and musical traditions from around the world. He learned of the taus, a bowed Sikh instrument shaped like a peacock; the tube zither from island cultures, including Madagascar and Indonesia; the array of instruments from the son jaracho music of Mexico. As more and more people got on board, the idea for an international day of playing music on the porch — or yard, or stoop, or anywhere outside, really — caught on faster than Mallman had even imagined. 

“So far this year we have people from 74 countries and over 1,350 cities worldwide registered to participate in Play Music on the Porch Day,” Mallman said. “At this point, it’s created its own momentum. It’s a movement.” Mallman said

Check out Hapachina from Gwevedzi's sophrome Album titled Nhungo below and stream the whole project on apple music

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!


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