Simonga in Europe
Immediately following ZIBF 97, the Siachilaba Ngoma Buntibe Group, Simonga, flies to Europe to take part in the prestigious Festival of the Regions in Upper Austria.
Valley Tonga music is difficult to stage conventionally since no distinction exists between performer and audience. As one solution, the group will lead a six-day trek over the Tote Gebirge (the Dead Mountains) of Upper Austria on a journey that will involve local Austrian musicians and a trailing audience.
In Linz and Vienna, additional performances have been arranged at prestigious venues to which distinguished contemporary music critics in the country will have been invited.
In mid September, Simonga moves to Belgium to take part in a large open-air festival organised through De Media in Eeklo.
The Clothes Project
Seperate from Kunzwana Trust's activities, the HAK-Auhof, a school in Linz, Austria, collected 420 kg of used clothing for the Valley Tonga people which were freighted to Zimbabwe through the kind co-operation of the Zimbabwe Embassy to Austria and Afretair.
The clothes were imported trough the kind auspices of the Grace Mugabe Streetchildren Charity Found, the Austrian Embassy arranged the transportation to Siachilaba.
The School and the Book Project
Part of the proceeds of the Nyaminyami project will go towards improvements to the primary school at Siachilaba. There are eight hundred students and seventeen teachers, only two of whom are Tonga. The school has no electricity, no furniture and precious few books.
KUNZWANA is collaborating with local book charities, in particular the Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust, with the aim of providing books for Siachilaba School and other school libraries in the Binga area.
The Tonga internet project on display at ZIBF 97 will be used to create awareness about the Valley Tonga, give Tonga school children access to information and encourage discussion about minority rights issues.
The well-known film maker, Elizabeth Markham, is completing a four-part documentary on the Tonga people for which KUNZWANA Trust is providing the musical score and hiring local musicians to participate.
In addition, independent Austrian and Zimbabwean film makers including
Michael Pilz and Thomas Schneider have been commissioned to document the 1997 Valley Tonga Cultural Project from their perspectives.