A stigma still exists in Zimbabwe regarding traditional music and culture. People generally view traditional music as inferior and they associate it with people with little to no education. Creating avenues for people to experience the beauty of this music is critical in changing the perceptions that people have around traditional music, performances, and culture.
We hosted an inaugural Cultural Exchange camp from December 13th to December 16th, 2018. The inaugural camp was only open to students that were in the Music and Culture program at that time and others in the local community. As we grow, we will open up future camps to other Zimbabwean communities as well as others outside of Zimbabwe.
The camp provided an opportunity for Zimbabweans that have not been exposed to traditional music and dance an opportunity to immerse themselves in it and learn more about it. It also provided an opportunity for non-Zimbabweans to learn traditional Zimbabwean music and culture as well as experience the village lifestyle through learning at the Center and by living in the community or at the Center.
The camp not only exposed many people to traditional music but also gave mbira players, traditional singers, and traditional dancers an opportunity to share their talent with others.
We are also working on developing a repository for traditional music and culture related material. We will provide more information on this at a later time.