Cosmas Magaya

Cosmas Magaya
Oct 5, 1953 – Jul 10, 2020

Cosmas Magaya is an internationally renowned Zimbabwean mbira player, teacher and cultural ambassador. Raised in the rural areas of Mhondoro, Mr. Magaya played an integral role in the research of musicologist Paul Berliner’s award-winning book The Soul of Mbira (1978), and also performed mbira on the accompanying audio recordings released by Nonesuch Records. Mr. Magaya has performed internationally in Europe and the US with Mhuri Yekwa Rwizi, and the Zimbabwe Group Leaders Mbira Ensemble, including members Hakurotwi Mude, Beauler Dyoko, Chaka Chawasarira, Simon Magaya and Paul Berliner. Cosmas is also currently collaborating with Paul Berliner on a book focused on mbira.

Since 1998, Mr. Magaya has been invited to North America to teach and lecture on the subject of mbira, and has held numerous teaching residencies at academic institutions such as Duke University, Harvard University, Williams College, University of Rochester, among others, and as a result has gained a loyal following of many mbira students throughout North America. In addition to his experience with mbira, Mr. Magaya went to college in Salisbury (now Harare) to study Business, and spent many years working at the Dairiboard as a sales representative and manager.

Aside from his activities in music, Mr. Magaya is also Program Director for Nhimbe for Progress, a non-profit organization serving impoverished villagers in the Mhondoro region of Zimbabwe, and he sits on the Board of Directors of Tariro, a grassroots non-profit organization working in Zimbabwe to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by educating young women and girls. Cosmas Magaya is also the Village Head of Magaya/Zvidzai Village under Chief Nherera of Mhondoro.

» Read Cosmas Magaya’s Curriculum Vitae