Most people around the African music community know Mutamba Rainos, an mbira player/singer/dancer/percussionist with Nhapitapi, and formerly with Masaisai. He’s also a storyteller, chef, and (as of this fall), PhD student at OISE.
However he also created an important project in rural Zimbabwe, the Ubuntu Learning Village. He is in Zimbabwe for four months now, beginning the construction of this village. (I’m looking forward to meeting Mutamba in Harare this August)
I’m posting some messages below from Mutamba about the project, and a fund-raising effort for it being held in Toronto June 17, through the AIDS Ride for Africa, sponsored by CAP AIDS. 85% of the money raised through the Ubuntu Toronto team will go toward the building of this Village (the rest into the general CAP AIDS funds). All donations will receive a charitable tax credit receipt from CAP AIDS.
I’ll be participating in this ride.
Message from Mutamba:
Over the last two years we have been working together with friends and family in Canada and Zimbabwe to create a learning village. Through this village, communities in Zimbabwe and around the world can learn together to foster ways of living fully and sustainably. With the support of Moyo Wa Africa and my personal financial resources, we purchased 40 hectares of land in Chaarove, Zimbabwe. Work has begun already on farming and the construction of living spaces in the area that we are calling the Ubuntu Learning Village.
Ubuntu, has the spiritual/ philosophical/ objective root of interdependency. Translated loosely, Ubuntu means “you are because we are”. We continue on this side of the community to dream of and work out ideas for how this village will come to be. We are envisioning farming (food for the village and the surrounding communities), art, dance, free holistic alternative school, healing, spiritual growth, herbal knowledge, and ceremony – all rooted in environmentally and socially just, indigenous ways of being. We are hoping that by year number 5 – that is in 2016 – we will have realized these visions at Ubuntu Learning Village. And hopefully you can come and learn with us!
In the nearby Kufunda Learning Village, program facilitators train over twenty youth at a time in sustainable agriculture, community engagement, discussion facilitation, and interdependent living. Of those twenty + youth, they are hosting two of our youth per training session as well, who will go on to help build the dream of Ubuntu Learning Village. For a better understanding of the goals of Ubuntu, check out the incredible work being done at Kufunda here: http://kufunda.wordpress.com .
With the support of Canadians, we have been able to send two of our youth leaders to Kufunda Learning Village for training. The Youth Leaders are Tapiwa Tukazi and Ketsiya Ndava. Their training consist of practical skills around community engagement, sustainable living and agriculture, personal care and conflict resolution to mention a few
We would like to dedicate the funds raised in this year’s ride to:
- Building of accommodation at the Ubuntu Learning Village centre in Gutu
- Supporting the outreach work of Ketsiya and Tapiwa in neighbouring villages to start sustainable cooperatives projects with women, youth and men in rural environments
- Support organic farming for families living at Ubuntu Learning Village
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support in helping us realize this incredible vision of a sustainable, holistic and interdependent community. We hope you can join us one day in Ubuntu!”.
Mutamba Rainos, Co-Creator Ubuntu Learning Village
About Mutamba & Nahpitapi:
And for a touch of Mutamba performing…. a video taken at Placebo Place earlier this year with his group, Nhapitapi, followed by the Tich Maredza Band, and then all musicians together. Mutamba is first on the screen. (Lighting was minimal there…)