To a Thousand More Years of Mbira

We end this week’s Zimbabwean musical adventure with one of the world’s sweetest instruments — the melodic “thumb piano” known as the mbira. The mbira is an African instrument composed of metal tines of varying lengths attached to a small wooden board; hold it in your hands, pluck the tines and make beautiful music. The instrument has existed in one form or another all over southern Africa for more than thousand years–first with bamboo tines, then eventually with metal–and over time dozens of slight variations have developed, resulting in the existence of mbira-like instruments all over the continent: the akogo (Uganda), the gyilgo (Ghana), the ikembe (Rwanda and Burundi), the kadongo(Uganda), the karimba (Zimbabwe), the likembe (Congo), the prempremsua (Ghana), the sanza (Congo) and many more.

Much love to you for joining me in Zimbabwe. Next week…SOUTH AFRICA.