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About Chivanhu Trust


The word ‘chivanhu’ is derived from the word ‘hunhu’, which is found in many languages in East, Central and Southern Africa. ‘Hunhu’ also known as ‘Ubuntu’ is an African philosophical/spiritual worldview that stresses the interconnectedness, and inevitable interdependence of people, and the natural environment.‘Chivanhu’ practice is believed to be a result of the collaboration between the spirits and living beings, which in many Zimbabwean philosophical or spiritual understandings are not separate but one entity, each with complementing roles. From this understanding, Chivanhu Trust is dedicated to the restoration of sacred traditions of the people of Zimbabwe and Africa through education, community collaborations, ‘mbira’ & ‘ngoma’ music and dance.

Chivanhu Trust is also committed to developing an understanding and awareness of cross-cultural ways of relating and living, religious and spiritual beliefs, gender, sex and age. Chivanhu Trust seeks to rejuvenate and encourage our sacred relationship with nature, building a healthy understanding between Mother earth and us.

It is grounded in the belief that through action centred on ‘mbira’ and ‘ngoma’ music, positive energy will settle within our midst since naturally, people cast aside their differences at ceremonies wherever there is ‘mbira’ music.

‘Ambuya Stella Chiweshe’ feels the drive to set up Chivanhu Trust has been ancestral inspirations through her body. Ambuya Stella Chiweshe is an accomplished artist who believes she is recognised as such by the ancestors of Zimbabwe. She embodies the qualities of various ancestral strengths, healing, educating, entertaining and uniting.

Mission Statement

  1. To conserve, promote and deepen understanding of cultural values and traditional music, particularly Mbira, in Zimbabwe and worldwide. This will be made possible by sharing and exchanging of cultural values and practices with particular and appropriate local, regional and international persons and communities through staging of workshops, festivals, discussions, dialogues, training and teaching the public or private audiences,
  2. To carry out any other activities, which may further the promotion and attaining of the objects expressed in close (1) above.

Key Objectives

  • The establishment and management of a physical centre (with adequate facilities) to promote the objectives of the Trust,
  • Bringing together of a wide variety of traditional musicians, from within Zimbabwe and further afield,
  • To create mutual learning opportunities about the interaction of traditional music and traditional values and culture; and to learn about performance and staging of traditional music events’
  • The creation of opportunities for persons concerned about or involved in work relating to traditional values and cultural expression to meet, share perspectives and concerns and to develop joint activities
  • To particularly nurture, encourage, enhance and promote women's participation, involvement and leadership in musical performances and cultural activities
  • To ensure that adequate resources are available, for the achieving of the above.

Glossary of Terms

Ambuya Stella Chiweshe:

Chairperson of Chivanhu Trust. She is world famous Mbira-player, artistic director, choreographer, ‘mbira’ teacher, singer, actress, herbalist and great-grandmother.


Have two meanings
  1. May mean the spoken language of the Shona people of Zimbabwe-Chishona or
  2. May mean the traditional way of everyday living of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, for which the whole idea of Chivanhu trust is based on.


Behaviour of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.


It is a musical instrument that consists of a wooden board to with staggered metal keys attached to it and it is often fitted into a resonator-‘Deze’.


A KiSwahili word meaning Drum, a musical instrument played across Africa.


Is an ethical concept of southern African origin.

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