Learning mbira Nhemamusasa (nay-mum-sah-sah): among the oldest songs in the mbira repertoire of Zimbabwe, it means "temporary shelter". Nhemamusasa encourages a sense of repose among the vicissitudes of life.

North: "Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
... While high overhead, green, yellow, and red, the North Lights swept in bars?--
Then you've a hunch what the music meant . . .(a) hunger and night and the stars."
-Robert Service

Learning marimba

We welcome you to join us at Nhemamusasa North 2019, a very special opportunity to gather together in community and immerse yourself in the music and culture of Zimbabwe.

"It was the highlight of my summer. I loved the 'feel' of the event: camping out, eating communally, having workshops under the trees, talking with the fabulous Zimbabwean musicians about their lives. Great!" D. P.

Drum class

We will once again be gathering at O.U.R. Ecovillage on Vancouver Island, a sustainable learning centre and demonstration site about 50 minutes north of Victoria near Shawnigan Lake. There we will come together over six days to share in the deep and nourishing musical and cultural traditions of Zimbabwe.

"Something that I can only describe as magical. This year I learned parts to four new mbira tunes, and sang more than I ever have in my entire life. I'm already looking forward to next year." G.M.

Learning dance

Our 2019 Zimbabwean Guest Artists (subject to change) will include Alois Mutinhiri (mbira), Napoleon Jambwa (marimba, ngoma, dance, mbira, singing), Zivanai Masango (marimba, guitar, singing), Paul Mataruse (marimba, shona language), and Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa (marimba, mbira, singing, ngoma, hosho). Our North American teachers this year include Dana Moffett (marimba), Dean Samuel (marimba, gumboot dance), and Ted Wright (marimba, chipendani, mbira). Watch for additional teacher announcements in the coming weeks.

"It was truly an inspiring time, my head is still spinning!!" W.S.

Guest Artists

Zivanai Masango

Zivanai Masango

Zivanai Masango is a "musician's musician". Although he is primarily one of the most exciting and sought-after Southern African guitarists of his generation, his work as a songwriter, arranger, producer/engineer, music educator and multi-instrumentalist has garnered him plenty of respect, not least from some of the world's leading musicians.

Zivanai has played on some of the world's most prestigious stages, from the Hollywood Bowl to the Blue Note and everything in between, playing with a wide array of acclaimed artists and bands such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo, Playing For Change Band, Giovanni Hidalgo, The String Cheese Incident, The Motet, Alvin Slaughter, Bushman and many others. Recently, he has embarked on a solo recording career that is quickly establishing him as one of the torchbearers of African and world music into the future.

Just like his guitar playing, Zivanai's work as a recording artist and bandleader disregards categorization and reflects the various influences that have shaped him into the maverick musician he is today.

Paul Mataruse

Paul Mataruse

Paul Mataruse was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he started playing marimba with his twin brother Peter at a young age. By the time they were 8 years old, the twins were leading their school marimba band to multiple awards at school competitions.

In 1996, Paul attended Lester B. Pearson United World College in Metchosin for high school, and it was there he first met the members of Marimba Muzuva and got exposed to the North American Zimbabwean music community. He now lives in the Seattle area, and continues to share his music through his band, Ruzivo.

Dana Moffett

Dana Moffett

Dana Moffett has undertaken a long journey into the complex and beautiful music of Zimbabwe. As a performance artist with Ruzivo and Paul Mataruse she has toured in the United States, Canada and Zimbabwe. As a teacher she created and leads the Rubatano Center on Whidbey Island, whose focus is marimba instruction and a direct exchange of instructors from Zimbabwe. She has a strong background working with youth camps and youth performance groups, and has taught at numerous camps and festivals including the annual Zimbabwean Music Festival, Nhemamusasa North, The Canvas in Juneau, Alaska and for the Matanho Project in Zimbabwe.

Dana's love of the music has taken her to Zimbabwe several times to study the music and culture. She enjoys enjoys being a student of this music, be it marimba, mbira, dance, or singing, and is dedicated to the enrichment of her local community through the teaching of Zimbabwean music and culture.

Alois Mutinhiri

Alois Mutinhiri

My name is Alois Mutinhiri. I started playing mbira in 1976. No one taught me how to play, I just dreamt of playing mbira with an old man. I asked my father who he might be, and he said it was my great-grandfather. I started teaching mbira in 1990, working with the youth. Since then, I have worked with James Mujuru, Erica Azim, Rainos Mutamba and many others from around the world. I currently teach mbira at Ubuntu village working with the next generation of mbira players.

Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa

Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa was born in 1976 in the village of Mutimbanyoka, in Murewa district, Zimbabwe. With an exceptional interest as a young child he began playing mbira at the age of six. This keen learner watched while his father, uncles and other village elders played mbira in traditional ceremonies and soon he began his journey as a young child singing, dancing, playing mbira and drums in traditional ceremonies and other village gatherings.

Kurai Mubaiwa
In 1994 Kurai moved to the city of Harare and joined the cultural group Savannah Arts, where he learned to play marimba and trained as an actor. Here he facilitated and coordinated the Streets Ahead programme which focused on teaching street youth to play marimba. In 1995 he participated in The Youth Forum and taught cultural arts in Copenhagen, and Arhus, Denmark.

In 1998 he toured West Africa and Europe with Zimbabwe's Chiwoniso Maraire, and opened for Cesaria Evora. In 2000 he joined Theatre Talipot in Reunion Island, performing in the production, Passage, which also toured South Africa, France and Scotland.

Kurai immigrated to Vancouver in 2002 where he began his Canadian musical journey. Here he began teaching at the Britannia World Music Program facilitating and instructing children, youth and adults marimba classes until 2010. He continues to facilitate and instruct marimba, singing, mbira and drumming workshops across British Columbia, North America and Europe.

Kurai also continues to perform as the lead musician with the groups ZimbaMoto and the Zhambai Trio. As a solo act, Kurai also tours the world, both as a teacher and as a performer at festivals such as WOMAD, ZimFest and Montreal Jazz Festival.

Napoleon Jambwa

Napoleon Jambwa
Now based in Cape Town, South Africa, Napoleon Kudzayi Jambwa was born and raised in the high-density suburb of Highfield in Harare, Zimbabwe.

His father was a mbira player and his mother was in a choral group. He started learning to play African instruments at the early age of six, and then began studying traditional dancing in primary school. Napo honed his playing and dancing skills through working with renowned artists such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Ephat Mujuru, Clive Malunga and Mhembero, both in Zimbabwe and internationally.

He has been teaching marimba, mbira, ngoma and dance for many years, in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Japan, China, Singapore, Germany and the USA. He hopes to continue to share his cultural knowledge around the world as a music and dance ambassador for Zimbabwe.

Dean Samuel

Dean Samuel

Dean Samuel is a founding member of Marimba Muzuva and has been playing marimba since 1992.

He traveled with Muzuva to Zimbabwe in 1994, where they studied marimba with Farai Gezi. Dean also studied mbira in Zimbabwe with Musa Chihota and Lovett Paradzai.

Dean teaches marimba, mbira and gumboot dancing, and has had a hand in the formation and repertoire of many of British Columbia's marimba bands. He is co-composer of Muzuva favourites "Kyrie's Summersault Song" and "Out of the Nest".

Dean also handcrafts chipendani, and is a noted builder of marimbas.

Ted Wright

Ted Wright
Ted's love for Zimbabwean music began with Victoria's Marimba Muzuva in 1993. He has been a teacher of marimba, mbira, chipendani and gumboot dancing for many years, and has travelled to Zimbabwe several times, studying and performing with many of Zimbabwe's top traditional musicians.

In addition to Muzuva, his musical projects have included the world beat improvisational ensemble Spirit Gate, mbira quartet Choto, and Zimbabwean roots dance bands Zimfusion and Jambanja.

Ted organizes the annual Zimbabwean music/dance gathering Nhemamusasa North, and teaches workshops, school groups, and ongoing classes as director of Bopoma on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Meals and Accomodation


Camping is the main accommodation at the Ecovillage. Coastal weather is always variable, so please be sure to bring an all-weather tent and sleeping gear. Hot water and bathing facilities are available. A limited number of on-site dorm style and private rooms are available at an additional fee - contact us for availability and pricing. There are also private rooms, motels and B and B's available in the nearby communities of Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay, and Cobble Hill. Contact us for a list of off-site accommodation possibilities. Three delicious meals a day will be provided, with plenty of vegetarian options. We cannot accommodate special dietary needs, so please be sure to make your own arrangements if needed.


Fees for Nhemamusasa North are all-inclusive, and include admission to all workshops, 3 meals (and snacks) per day and camping.


Discounted tuition if paid by June 16th

Full time fee • Adults $650 • Youth 12-19 $500 • 12 and under $400

Daily fee • Adults $150 • Youth 12-19 $130 • 12 and under $120

Tuition after June 16th

Full time fee • Adults $750 • Youth 12-19 $600 • 12 and under $500

Daily fee • Adults $180 • Youth 12-19 $160 • 12 and under $140

A 50% deposit is required with registration (balance due upon arrival at camp). You may pay the entire fee in advance if you prefer. After June 16th, all deposits are non-refundable. Before June 16th, a $50 processing fee will apply to all refunded deposits. Fees are in Canadian dollars. U.S. funds are accepted at current exchange rates at time of deposit. Please note that children under the age of 16 attending Nhemamusasa North must have a designated chaperone on site with them. Please include contact information for this person on the registration form.

O.U.R. Ecovillage

The Sanctuary at O.U.R. EcovillageO.U.R. ECOVILLAGE is a sustainable learning center and demonstration site which focuses on ecological ways of living involving permaculture design. "We are dedicated to researching and modeling ways that are rooted in social, cultural, spiritual, economic and ecological well-being."

O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE acts as a bridge between the rural and urban experience. They offer a protected green space and a healthy, supportive community learning environment for residents, participants in programs, and the wider local and global communities. As well, they actively create partnerships with groups and organizations from all walks of life who are interested in living in community and living lightly on the earth.

The Cowichan Valley

Cowichan ValleyThe Cowichan Valley was originally named The Warm Land by the Quw'utsun'(Coast Salish). The Cowichan First Nation peoples have inhabited these lands for 10,000 years. Here rich farmland, old growth and successive forests, rivers, mountains and ocean mingle in Canada's only Maritime Mediterranean climactic zone.

The nearby village of Shawnigan Lake contains two small general stores, three restaurants, several beaches and various small businesses. The Village is a well-known venue for arts and craft shows, and hosts a small but excellent museum.

For those interested in the First Nations heritage of the area, the Quw'utsun' Cultural Centre in Duncan offers on-site interpretive tours, traditional artwork, and native food.

The Cowichan River, a provincial Heritage River flowing 47 km. from Lake Cowichan to a large ocean estuary at Cowichan Bay, is known for it's river tubing. Float for hours on it's gentle current past fields and forest (inflatable tubes available for sale in Duncan). There is also a 20 km. hiking trail along the riverbank. For further hiking or biking the Trans-Canada Trail, featuring the magnificent Kinsol Trestle, runs through the valley, and Mt Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain offer a vast network of mountain bike trails.

The valley is also home to a cidery and a dozen wineries (tours available), as well as farm markets and many and varied artisans.

Getting to Nhemamusasa North


O.U.R. Ecovillage is located on southern Vancouver Island, a 50 minute drive north-west of Victoria on the Trans-Canada highway.

From Victoria:

From Duncan/Nanaimo:


Useful contacts:

Ferries to Victoria:

From Victoria/Nanaimo to Mill Bay:

Pick-up from Mill Bay can be arranged with prior notice.


To register, please PRINT the PDF registration form (one for each person registering) and POST (along with cheque payable to Nhemamusasa North) to address on form.

Site entry and check-in will open at 7:30 pm on Monday August 12th (no dinner provided on-site). First workshops begin Tuesday morning. Camp will end after breakfast on Sunday August 18th.


For more information or call 250-737-1331.