Music for All Zimbabwe is the vision and inspiration of Fidelis Mherembi, a talented musician and instrument maker from Zimbabwe.
June Burrough first met Fidelis when he was studying in the UK in 2005, at the Pierian Centre in Bristol. Their friendship grew and, from deep mutual respect, a working relationship developed which resulted in Music For All Zimbabwe. In 2018 the project closed because it was no longer tenable, both financially and in terms of the lack of support needed to keep it going, and it is sad to see unrealised potential after such optimistic hopes. However, it has left its mark on many children, adults and musicians, not only in Zimbabwe but also in the UK. Teacher exchanges were a huge success in both countries, and the future of many of us been enhanced by being part of the experience which Music For All Zimbabwe offered and its lasting impact.
MUSIC IS IMPROVING CHILDREN’S EDUCATION!
February 2013 Fidelis Mherembi talks about his vision of Music For All Zimbabwe
We have just received the sad news that Trymore died today (29 December 2014) and thought you would all want to know. It is terribly sad for someone of such a gift to die so young. And for those of us who met him he was inspiring in his talent, and it is a tragic loss to the Music for All Zimbabwe project.
That said, his Mbiras set the project going with Fidelis, and he has left an amazing legacy in so many young lives both in Zim and the UK that will live on for a very long time. For that we are eternally grateful to him. For those of you who want to be reminded of his talent the documentary film from 2012 above starts with our visit to him.
With love June and Fidelis x
When we were a community Interest Company, we defined a community and purpose which remain true to this day.
Children and communities in schools and rural areas, primarily in Zimbabwe, and in future years in other countries, where the introduction of indigenous music will enhance the children’s education and help to build a stronger local community. Also through giving business to local musical instrument makers, Music For All Zimbabwe will contribute to the local music industry community, building strong links to promote traditional music
Our social purpose
To carry on activities which benefit the community through the following objectives:
- Build better education through music
- Give access to traditional music instruments for every child in Zimbabwe, and expand that into other countries in the future.
- Help children attain higher grades and improve their chances of further education.
- Help parents’ involvement in children doing homework.
- Give a focus to the community to come to events at the school.
- Grow communities around the schools and their commitment to maintaining high education standards for their children through music as a common activity in which everyone can join.
- Give work to local people in making instruments and teaching and thus contributing to local economies.
With this social purpose in mind we have already supported two schools in Zimbabwe in the rural district of Chivhu. Starting in 2010, both schools now have sets of Mbiras (40 in Matirige and 30 in Sabi) and Matirige has a set of Marimba too. Matirige and Sabi schools then connected through the British Council funded programme Connecting Classrooms and teacher exchanges from Ashley Down Primary school in Bristol and East Harptree school in Mendip took place in the first half of 2014. We hope to be helping improve school buildings and classroom resources – books, materials, festivals, teacher’s houses and sponsor children at risk of missing out on school because their parents cannot afford fees, or who are particularly talented.
June Burrough visited Zimbabwe in July 2012 and January 2013 and the schools drew up 10 year plans of how they wanted to see their schools develop. This includes the renovation of buildings and getting electricity and reliable clean water supplies for both schools. In addition Sabi is in dire need of a footbridge to allow access across the river in the rainy season when flooding prohibits the children getting to school. The number of weeks of school missed every year is negatively affecting those children’s achievements. So whilst this is a project centred on music, the holistic approach to the needs of the schools to provide good education for their children is a huge part of the project. A year later teacher exchanges to Zimbabwe were made from two English primary schools, East Harptree and Ashley Down, followed by teacher exchanges to the UK from Sabi and Matirige schools, sponsored by the British Council.