...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 Tonga people

- 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 project

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

4 Nettleton Rd, Braeside, Harare
Tel/fax : 263 (4) 742065
email : kunzwana@pci.co.zw
Zimbabwe Tour Operator Lic No: C1519

click the image to get the music in RealAudio!

some more background information:
Kunzwana Trust
Nyaminyami Project
Simonga- Ngoma Buntibe Group

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