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, 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 five 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.

marimba jam

Nhemamusasa North offers daily workshops in marimba, mbira, hosho, dance, drumming and singing at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. (For a sense of how Nhemamusasa North's daily activities are structured, view the 2006 schedule)

Learning dance

This year our Zimbabwean Guest Artists (subject to change) will include Salani Wamkanganise, Zivanai Masango, Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa, and Moyo Rainos Mutamba. Our North American teachers this year include Jennifer Kyker, Dean Samuel and Ted Wright. Watch for additional teacher announcements in the coming weeks.

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

Guest Artists

Clayton Pasi Gunguwo

Pasi Gunguwo

Born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, Pasi's marimba music ability started in school when he joined the school marimba band at the age of seven. He has since played marimba professionally around the world, and has directed marimba bands in Zimbabwe, Canada, the United States and Israel.

In 1999 he began teaching music to homeless children in Harare where he teamed with the Savannah Arts Centre, a centre for music teaching in Harare's popular Mbare neighborhood. He then produced the recording of their debut album Savannah Jammin', before embarking with the band on a three-month US tour of marimba performing and workshops.

Pasi subsequently arrived in Vancouver, Canada where he became artistic director of an award-winning world music programme at Britannia Community Centre. At the Centre, Pasi composed and arranged marimba music for Jabulani Nyenyedzi, Kutapira and Kunaka, who still perform regularly in major festivals in Canada.

Jennifer Kyker

Jennifer Kyker

Jennifer W. Kyker has played Zimbabwean music since 1990 and is an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Rochester. Her primary mbira teachers are Musekiwa Chingodza, Sekuru Tute Chigamba, and Patience Chaitezvi Munjeri.

Jennifer is a former Zimfest board member and a founder member and current board member at Tariro, a non-profit organization that educates young women in Zimbabwean communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Tariro’s drum and dance troupe, Ngoma YeKwedu, offers Tariro students in-depth indigenous music and arts education.

Jennifer currently directs the advanced mbira ensemble at the Eastman School of Music. Her most recent academic project, Sekuru's Stories is a born-digital public humanities project that focuses on renowned Zimbabwean mbira dzavadzimu player, oral historian, and ritual specialist Sekuru Tute Chigamba.

Zivanai Masango

Zivanai Masango

Zivanai is an award-winning artist and veteran of the music industry in Zimbabwe, the US, and internationally.

He's worked with the cream of Zimbabwean music, artists such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo, Tanga wekwa Sando, Victor Kunonga, Machanic Manyeruke, and Fungisai Zvakavapano. And he’s played the most prestigious stages: the Hollywood Bowl, the Blue Note, Jazz Alley, B.B. King’s, and NYC Summerstage, with The String Cheese Incident, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Cliff, Habib Koité, and The Motet.

Zivanai’s Basement Studio Sessions of covers and original songs has been a sensation on social media, reinforcing him as one of the leading Zimbabwean musicians of today.

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.

Moyo Rainos Mutamba

Moyo Rainos Mutamba

Dr. Moyo Mutamba is an active mbira musician, cultural knowledge keeper, and storyteller who has shared his artistic passion internationally.

In 2012, he founded Ubuntu Learning Village, an international learning hub in rural Zimbabwe for the revitalization and promotion of Indigenous culture, arts, food, and intergenerational learning. Housed under Ubuntu Learning Village are five programs: Utano (Women’s health), mbira music and culture, Ubuntu Free School (UFS), Young Women Education, and Eco-Arts (2UC).

In Toronto, he works as the Director of Educational Equity at Sheridan College.

Kelly Takunda Orphan

Kelly Takunda Orphan

SF Bay area native Kelly has been singing, dancing, drumming, and songwriting for a few decades, often collaborating with Zimbabwean artists.

In 1994, after recording and touring with Babatunde Olatunji and African Rain, Kelly studied ethnomusicology at the University of Zimbabwe. She performed for Nelson Mandela and other luminaries with the UZ Choir and Mhembero Dance.

Kelly started The KTO Project in 2004, recording Give it to the People. Currently the KTO Project is finishing Mafaro eZimbabwe, an album paying homage to her Zimbabwean teachers. Kelly and her husband Salani Wamkanganise play traditional and contemporary mbira music in Mbira dzaSoko.

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.

Salani Wamkanganise

Salani Wamkanganise

A mbira player, maker, and teacher from Zimbabwe, Salani was exposed to mbira when he fell ill as a youth; mbira music was part of his healing.

Salani attended Prince Edward High School, studying mbira with Musekiwa Chingodza, and now lives in Richmond, California. In 2008, Salani began to learn mbira making and says: “The art of making the mbira instrument requires persistence for perfection, precision, attention to detail, mindfulness, a sense of beauty and commitment. There is a mixture of three trades in one, carpentry, metal fabrication, and a musical soul; thus, mbira making falls between art and engineering.”

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 playing in Zimbabwean roots dance bands Zimfusion and Jambanja.

Ted organizes the biannual 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 can accommodate some special dietary needs; please contact us for more information.


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


Discounted tuition if paid by June 18th

(Balance due by August 9th)

Full time fee • Adults $700 • Youth 13-19 $550 • 12 and under $400

Daily fee • Adults $200 • Youth 13-19 $180 • 12 and under $120

Tuition after June 18th

Full time fee • Adults $800 • Youth 13-19 $650 • 12 and under $500

Daily fee • Adults $230 • Youth 13-19 $210 • 12 and under $150

A 50% deposit is required with your registration (balance due upon arrival at camp). Please pay in the currency of the country you reside in. You may pay the entire fee in advance if you prefer. After June 18th, all deposits are non-refundable. Before June 18th, a $50 processing fee will apply to all refunded deposits. 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. Please note we will be following BC Public Health guidelines regarding Covid-19. If you are arriving from outside Canada all that is currently required is an ArriveCAN account and uploaded proof of vaccination. More info on Canadian entry requirements can be found here.

O.U.R. Ecovillage

The Sanctuary at O.U.R. EcovillageO.U.R. ECOVILLAGE is a sustainable learning centre 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.

Quw'utsun'/Cowichan Valley

Cowichan ValleyQuw'utsun', or the Cowichan Valley is known as The Warm Land by the Quw'utsun'(Coast Salish) peoples, who 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 various stores and restaurants, and several beaches and parks. The Village is a well-known venue for arts and craft shows, and hosts a small but excellent museum.

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 7:00 pm on Monday August 8th (no dinner provided on-site). First workshops begin Tuesday morning. Camp will end after breakfast and closing circle on Sunday August 14th.


For more information or call 250-737-1331.