"For the Tonga people like me, there is something deeply biblical about the word MULONGA, yet it is a modern story too. One of massive but unshared technology. One of plentiful water but perpetual drought."
Dominic Muntanga

Good start into 2018 for Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe / Zambia
Thursday, 01 February 2018 17:04

Zongwe FM station manager Kennedy Kein wrote on 19th January: "our radio has been granted a funding by the (Rural District) Council to build the new radio station up hill (on the Boma). We therefore ask for material support such as adjustable microphone stands, microphones and just other things you mighty think of supporting the radio station. Regards to all the friends in Austria".


Mokoomba live in Concert +++ 30th of August +++ Vienna
Monday, 28 August 2017 18:57

see the flyer

Mokoomba will perform together with Mamadou Daibate, Karl Ritter and Didier Uwayo at an open-air at "Nordbahn Halle", Wasserturm on Wednesday the 30th, starting 7 p.m. free entry!



Women sharing crucial information across Lake Kariba via radio
Friday, 23 September 2016 19:11

Zubo Women on-air at ZongweFM in Sinazongwe / Zambia: The sampler of four tracks presents excerpts from recent live shows on the community radio station Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe / Zambia. While broadcasts are still continuing, the sampler already shares a “teaser” for the release of all the 10 live shows in full.

source / listen: https://archive.org/details/Zubo_Women_on-air

ZONGWE.FM broadcasting again
Saturday, 28 May 2016 14:44

Good news from Sinazongwe Community Radio - Ngazi yamano. After a long period of suspended services due to problems to obtain the relevant licensing the station is back on air and the management board sent the following progress report.


Installation of Chief Siachilaba celebrated with Ngoma Buntibe
Saturday, 28 May 2016 14:02

posted March 28, 2016, by Pathisa Nyathi

A celebration of Ngoma Buntibe, the orchestra of the BaTonga: This musical performance is, by all accounts, a fabulous musical presentation.

Listening to it is like listening to the pervasive sounds of creation of the universe. Viewing the dancers move around is akin to watching the rhythmic movement of cosmic bodies: stars, planets and moons. The music is scintillating and ear-caressing. This is a rendition of the music genre of the BaTonga called Ngoma Buntibe. The occasion is the installation of Nona Mungombe as Chief Siachilaba at a place in Binga District that goes by the name of the chieftainship.

UN's historic freedom of information agreement
Monday, 28 September 2015 16:07

By Christian Gramsch, Director DW Akademie, Bonn / Germany
The most crucial item carried by most refugees on their difficult journeys are their smartphones. Why? Because smartphones are sources of vital information – for mapping routes, receiving updates about the political situation, making their journeys safer, and hearing from their loved ones. Smartphones also allow refugees to share their experiences and communicate with others. Here we are talking about fundamental human rights: the right to freedom of movement, the right to physical integrity, the right to family, and the right of freedom of expression and information.

Alongside other basic rights, the United Nations has included the right to access information as part of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted this past weekend at the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015 in New York. This is a historic step.

Fruitful collaboration between Austrian Free Radios and Zongwe FM / Zambia
Sunday, 12 July 2015 08:47

Parallel and linked to the exhibition "one man one note" re/calling Siachilaba in Strobl / Austria has been the project "Sichtwechsel" - Change of Perspective - as part of the Festival of the Regions in Ebensee / Upper Austria with live radio programs by radio-moderators from Salzkammergut in collaboration with their colleagues from Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe/Zambia.


Exhibition in Austria: „one man – one note“ - re/calling Siachilaba
Monday, 01 June 2015 13:23


Invitation to an exhibition and two concerts reflecting on the narratives and interplay of 20 years of cultural exchange between Austria and the Tonga people

12th June – 19th July 2015 at Kunsthaus Deutschvilla in Strobl / Wolfgangsee / Austria

Kunzwana # 1 - heading for Tonga Ngoma Buntibe music and HIFA
Saturday, 12 April 2014 10:54

Kunzwana # 1 is a trans-cultural collaboration of both musical storytelling and freely improvised music, in an exciting encounter between seven outstanding Austrian and Zimbabwean musicians which will unfold across the Southern African region through Harare and Johannesburg this April/May, and move on to perform in Europe later in the year.

The tour starts with a visit by the Austrian musicians to the group Simonga in the remote village of Siachilaba deep in the Zambezi Valley, a vivid encounter with the traditional Ngoma Buntibe musical art form / Tonkunst / of the Tonga people, highlighted as a source of inspiration.

Gwanza Photography Workshop empowering Women in Siachilaba
Monday, 16 December 2013 17:11

The photography workshop was conducted 5-7 November 2013 to empower rural women in Siachilaba / Binga with photographic skills so that they can tell their own day to day experiences through their own eyes. Since most of the pictures we see are taken by the foreign media and strangers to their community, this was an opportunity for the women to learn how they can document and give a true reflection of their plight through photography.  It served as a preparatory stage of the cultural Tales of Resilience project which involves, the Tonga community in Siachilaba / Binga, Basilwizi Development Trust, AZFA, Tonga.online, Time's Up, an artists organisation based in Austria and Gwanza, an organisation which promotes photography in Zimbabwe, based in Harare.

Artwork related to Tonga Ngoma Buntibe in an Austrian exhibition
Monday, 17 June 2013 15:21

The picture shows a detail of the huge drawing (2x3m) of a Ngoma Buntibe performance of Simonga-Maliko by the artists Georg Ritter and Hanna Piksarv. This artwork is based on photographs taken at the joint rehearsals of Simonga-Maliko in Binga prior to their journey to Linz / Austria in 2009. It has been shown as part of the current exhibition of Ritter/Piksarv at the Deutschvilla in Strobl near Salzburg. Georg Ritter is a multimedia artist from Linz / Austria and has been involved in cultural exchange with the Tonga since 1995 in close collaboration with the late Keith Goddard. Hanna Piksarv is a young artist in various fields from Tallinn / Estonia.

Fostering social accountability through community radio
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:55
By Lilian Kiefer / PSAf

GOOD governance focuses on the extent to which governments enact and implement policies in the interest of all citizens and the effective translation of public resources into public services. Decentralisation, a process of redistributing or dispersing functions, powers, people or things away from a central location or authority allows for popular participation in implementation of policies ensuring interests of all citizens. This process is key in ensuring good governance as it allows for citizens’ participation in the planning and policy-making as well as implementation systems which would otherwise be highly centralised.

"Our gods never helped us again ..."
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 17:24

The Tonga people describe resettlement and its aftermath in a booklet published by Panos Southern Africa in 2005 as part of The Oral Testimony Programme.

"Some 55 years ago, from 1957 to 1958, some 57,000 Tonga people in the Zambezi Valley were resettled, as the rising waters of the Kariba Dam flooded their villages. For many, the move marked a dramatic change in their quality of life, and the memories remain vivid"... (Preface)

Tonga musicians @ HIFA 2012
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 18:59

Greetings from Basilwizi - The people of the Great River!


Basilwizi Trust is excited to advise that for the first time in history of Harare International Festival of the Arts HIFA, Zimbabwe’s largest show case for arts and culture, Tonga musicians have been invited to participate. We are so grateful to this support which presents an opportunity for our people to share and exchange on Zimbabwe’s cultural diversity at an international stage.

see the HIFA website: www.hifa.co.zw Ngoma Buntibe music of the Tonga People

NEW: read the update by Penny Yon / Pamberi Trust (below)

NEW: Mokoomba, the young Tonga boys from VicFalls @ HIFA (further below)

Keeping Tonga Language Alive
Friday, 20 January 2012 14:04

by Tichaona Zindoga / The Herald / allAfrica    19 January 2012

Last year, a major milestone was achieved for minority languages in general and Tonga in particular, when the latter was officially tested at Grade Seven for the first time. The response was resounding, especially in Chief Mola's area in Kariba swhere schools recorded good passes with some achieving 100 percent pass rates in the subject. As Tonga language and culture are synonymous with the Zambezi River that borders Zimbabwe and Zambia, the riverine Chief Mola's area in the northwest of Zimbabwe is one of the bastions of Tonga language and culture. Gokwe North, Binga, Hwange and other districts are other centres of Tonga culture.

Women Filmmakers Festival in Binga
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 18:02
Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) is excited to take the International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF) outreach to the Matabeleland North town of  Binga for the first time. The project will take place from the 5 to the 8 of December 2011 where local films will be screened to the Binga audiences. Located in Matabeleland North, 450km away from Bulawayo, Binga district has a population of about 118 842 people. Targeting an audience of about 5000 people, IIFF will screen the films Nyami nyami amaji abulozi (Nyaminyami and the Evil Eggs), Peretera maneta (Spell my Name) and I Want A Wedding Dress. Each film is specifically chosen for the community because of its theme, content and relevance.  Nyami nyami is an adaptation of ancient Tonga folklore. Peretera maneta tackles child sexual abuse, while I Want A Wedding Dress focuses on HIV and AIDS and behavioural change, particularly amongst young people.
The Kankobela music of the Batonga on CD
Thursday, 20 October 2011 20:01

SWP Records is pleased to announce the release of SWP 039 'The Kankobela of the Batonga Vol. 2' . After the seven surviving masters presented on the Vol. 1 album, SWP Records is presenting on Vol. 2 eleven more old masters, recorded by Michael Baird in 1996 and 2008. "More otherworldly songs, deep buzzing and mesmerizing time patterns. Tongtronics - but without any electricity! The kankobela is the 'thumb-piano' of the Batonga, who live in the Zambezi Valley after the Victoria Falls.

Vibrant Lwiindi Celebrations in Sinazongwe / Zambia
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 08:52

This years Lwiindi ceremony in Sinazongwe on the Zambian side of Lake Kariba took place on 30th and 31st of July as a vibrant community festival. It was attended by more than 500 people including government departments, chiefs from Zambia and Zimbabwe, ngoma groups from Zambia and Zimbabwe. Residents of Sinazongwe chieftainship and those from outside Sinazongwe as far as Maamba also attended the function. There were two chiefs from Zimbabwe Chief Siansali and Chief Sinakoma, assistant district administrator for Binga district, Mr. T. Mugoriya, Basilwizi board member Ms. C Sianyuka, and Basilwizi officer, Mrs. D. Mudimba. Basilwizi Trust’s Tonga.Online project supported 30 musicians from Nampande Ngoma Chita from Sinakoma ward, comprising of 11 women and 19 men, to go across The River.

Tonga music culturally rich
Monday, 23 May 2011 08:13

By Margaret Chinowaita, Entertainment Writer, The Daily News, Harare
Monday, 16 May 2011 17:32

HARARE - The Tonga people of Zimbabwe have over the years managed to keep their culture alive through music despite a number of factors that threaten to dishevel this ethnic clan.

A discussion on the Tonga people language and culture which was held at Book Café in Harare on Thursday night attracted people from different ethnic groups who met to share on the subject.

The discussion was led by Bulawayo based group, Basilwizi organisation that works with Tonga people.

Welcome to Basilwizi – 'People of the Great River'
Thursday, 05 May 2011 07:01

The Book Café, Thu 12 May, 5.30pm
The Mannenberg, Fri 13 May, 6pm

This May at the Book Café and Mannenberg in Harare, arts development organisation Pamberi Trust will host two fascinating events highlighting Tonga culture in Zimbabwe.

Thursday 12 May presents a panel discussion on 'Tonga Language and Music - A cultural drive for survival and development'

followed on Friday 13 May by a multimedia presentation 'Kunzwana - The Keith Goddard Collection' Project, which documents some of the work by the late great Zimbabwean composer with Tonga musicians and other communities.

Inspiring donation for Siachilaba Women Photographers Association
Monday, 11 December 2017 14:42

Another Photography Workshop was held end of September by photo artist Calvin Dondo. It provided not only some refresher of past exercises but also some training with new equipment donated by AZFA, cheering the morale of the group which is facing some difficult circumstances and searching for a permanent studio space. The workshop was attended by Hedi and Peter Kuthan / AZFA.

Read the report by Calvin Dondo:

MOKOOMBA - another encounter with Tonga culture in Austria
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 18:39

The highlight of this years cultural exchange programme will be a concert on 2nd June at Kino Ebensee / Austria performed by Mokoomba - "Zimbabwe's hottest export" (Songlines) and joined by Isabelle Duthoit /FR and Franz Hautzinger / AUT who will musically reflect on their visit to Siachilaba on their way to HIFA in 2014.

Mokoomba's newly released CD Luyando received much praise, especially during their current US tour: "With Luyando, Mokoomba makes the rather bold move of going acoustic, and digging deeper into their Tonga roots." Afropop Worldwide http://www.afropop.org/35137/luyando/ more: http://www.popmatters.com/review/mokoomba-luyando/

Vale Professor Elizabeth Colson!
Sunday, 21 August 2016 10:48

Dear Friends, It is with great sorrow that we received the sad news of Professor Elizabeth Colson's (99) passing away on 3rd August at her home near Monze / Zambia.

We have met Elizabeth Colson several times in recent years on our way to or from Sinazongwe on the Northern shore of Lake Kariba where we assist the community radio station Zongwe FM. She was such an amazing woman, with her cultural empathy and wit outstanding. We shared her love for the Tonga people. For sure we will always meet her there in the Gwembe Valley where "she left footprints in the sand of time" and where her spirit and inspiration lives on.  Rest In Peace, Elizabeth.

Photo workshop promoting Siachilaba women
Saturday, 28 May 2016 14:23

From 13 - 15th April there was another Photography workshop conducted by the artist Calvin Dondo from Harare at Siachilaba for the Women Photographers Association to promote their photography skills as means of expression and self representation.

Read the report below and have a look at some pictures selected

"Tales of Resilience" in Vienna
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 15:08

Posted on January 31, 2016 by timesuptim

On the 26th of January, we enjoyed the Vernissage of the exhibition "Tales of Resilience" at the Aktionsradius in Vienna.

Echoes of Tonga music in Austria
Monday, 03 August 2015 09:36

On 19th July, our exhibition "one man - one note" ReCalling Siachilaba at Kunsthaus Deutschvilla in Strobl / Wolfgangsee was concluded with an inspiring finissage concert by Fadi Dorninger (Simonga-Maliko Parade Linz09 Remix), Otto Lechner, Toni Burger, Karl Ritter (Windhund goes Zimbabwe revival) and by our special guest from Zimbabwe Hope Masike, who has been featured again in Werner Puntigam's mbirations with Klaus Hollinetz. The concert and the exhibition as such met an excited response and applause. Visitors contributed 1652 Euro to ongoing projects in Siachilaba (womens foto studio) and Sinazongwe (Zongwe FM radio). Thank you all for your contributions, especially the artists and for your support. Twalumba!

Excited response: "One man - one note" re/calling Siachilaba
Thursday, 25 June 2015 17:43

The opening of the exhibition on 12th June @ Kunsthaus Deutschvilla in Strobl / Wolfgangsee / Austria was attended by a good crowd of interested people and many friends who have been involved in cultural exchanges several times already. After introductions by Peter Kuthan and the curator Fina Esslinger, the composer Klaus Hollinetz laid out the tune with his "tonga-return" electronic soundscape. Then, Isabelle Duthoit and Franz Hautzinger recalled the whole realm of sounds encountered in Siachilaba a year ago. Finally, Peter Androsch on guitar, Bernd Preinfalk on cello accompanied and complemented Didi Bruckmayr's incredible spectrum of vocal vibes in an acoustic dialogue with the Tonga Ngoma Buntibe Tonkunst.

Tales of Resilience: a track record along the artists travelogue
Friday, 12 September 2014 15:19

compiled using quotes by Time's Up artist Tina Auer from the blog: http://talesofresilience.wordpress.com/

First of all have a look at some amazing pictures taken at the photography workshop for and by Siachilaba women in April 2014 under the guidance of two artists from Harare, Calvin Dondo and Nancy Mpalume:
and read more details about the Siachilaba workshop

Margaret Moombe listening to her tales at NGZ

Tales of Resilience - an arts project promoting story telling by Tonga women
Sunday, 30 March 2014 12:40

In April there will be another photography workshop for women held in Siachilaba by the Zimbabwean artists Annie Mpalume and Calvin Dondo from Harare. They will be joined by three Austrian artists who are embarking on an extensive cultural exchange highlighting the cultural resilience of the Tonga people.

For the Tales of Resilience - series they will use a custom-made radio set as an interface for storytelling. The narrative will be formed by women of the group Simonga from the Tonga community in Siachilaba. Some of these women have been traveling to Europe twice within the last few years in dramatic contrast to their lives in rural Binga.

Tonga.OnAir: Zongwe FM transmission improved
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 09:42

A team of AZFA delegates led by Peter Kuthan, AZFA Chair person, visited Sinazongwe in Zambia's Southern Province from the 20th to the 31st of July 2013 to render support to the Community Radio station Zongwe FM. The radio experts Marcus Diess and Mario Friedwagner installed a 500watt-transmitter, replacing the old one (with 100watt only). Zongwe FM’s transmission radius has now more than doubled the previous one in a bid to enhance a wider broadcasting coverage of the station at 105.0 MHz. They also dealt with all the faults in the studio in a bid to facelift it for a full operation and provided for some relevant training.

Tonga.OnAir : Overhaul and Upgrade of Sinazongwe Community Radio
Sunday, 16 June 2013 19:32

The establishment of a community radio station in Sinazongwe assisted by a team of Austrian radio activists in 2007 has been aiming to improve communication and access to information in this remote area. The station is based at Sinazongwe Basic School and has the capacity to cover a radius of 20 kilometer reaching out to approximately 10 000 people.

Now an overhaul of the station is due in July/August this year with the set up of a new transmitter expanding its range to cover the whole community as far as Mamba and Kanchindu. An application for the relevant licence is in the pipeline with fund-raising still in progress to cover the costs.

Electricity for All but Those the Kariba Dam Displaced
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 13:06

By Baboki Kayawe / IPS

Indigenous (Tonga) people who were displaced from the Zambezi Valley almost six decades ago for the construction of the Kariba Dam say they have not benefited from the development they made way for. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

Shangano Arts Festival 2012 launched in Binga
Sunday, 04 November 2012 16:56

By Noel Munzabwa, 26th October 2012

The Guest of Honour, CHIEF SIANSALI held the following speech at the launch of SHANGANO ARTS FESTIVAL in Binga on 25th October 2012

THEME: Keeping it alive, long live cultural diversity!

Cultural diversity is a key component to co-existence thus the government of Zimbabwe has made great strides towards promoting national realization of all languages and their respective cultures through constitutional provisions.

Tonga.Online: Funkfeuer mission accomplished
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 18:53

I hope this communication finds you well. We concluded all our three major trainings with Rupi and Funkfeuer team from Linz. The attendances were impressive. We shall be consolidating participants' views from the evaluation forms they filled and the findings will be shared with you. We will be in the Public Access Point / PAP at Binga Library tomorrow to complete what could have remained unfixed.

Once again I and the team sincerely appreciate the visit to one of the training sessions by the Director of Basilwizi Trust, Frank Mudimba. That was great.

Meanwhile we are experiencing internet challenges for the past four days now.
Thank you.

Josias Mungombe
Basilwizi Trust Binga

more information about the Funkfeuer mission:

Computers for Binga Library: IT Public Access Point and books handed over
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 08:27

On the 27th of October 2011, Basilwizi Trust handed over the ICT Public Access Point (PAP) at Binga Library to Binga Rural District Council in a bid to improve information access in the district. Basilwizi is an organisation operating in Binga with an objective of developing Tonga communities. It has taken over the Tonga.Online project after it was realised that its funding base has dwindled. The Public Access Point will afford the local community access to information through internet services. The Binga Rural District Council accommodated the PAP facilities in the community library for convenience of the local population.

Ijwi Lyako Alimvwigwe - Make Your Voice Heard
Friday, 04 November 2011 08:56

Kujatana Nkubotu 21 km Peace Half Marathon is held annually to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Peace. Since the first race was held in 2008, the half marathon has evolved into a major sports event on the Zimbabwean calendar. The race organised and sponsored by Twalumba Foundation - the corporate social responsibility arm of Twalumba Holdings - is held in Binga district in Matabeleland North Province. This year’s race was held on the 22 October 2011 and nearly 700 athletes competed. Besides offering an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) certified route to compete, the race has helped to bring the world to Binga. Athletes, race officials, spectators and journalists from all over Zimbabwe have travelled to Binga and enjoyed the natural and cultural beauty of the Ba-Tonga people.

PARADE documentary @ Zimfilmfest 2011
Thursday, 29 September 2011 14:59

Good News: The 14th Zimbabwe International Filmfestival ZIFF, which runs from 30th September to 7th October in Harare under the theme "Finding Common Ground" is featuring Tonga Tonkunst. The very special Ngoma Buntibe music of the Tonga people in the Zambezi Valley will be on screen in the film Parade documentary. Be there - don't miss!

The film Parade documentary will be showing at the Young Africa Skills Centre in Chitungwiza (a high density suburb of Harare) on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 4:00pm.
Admission is free. for more details see -> http://www.zimfilmfest.co.zw/screening/main/screening-parade.html   You will find all the information you need on the current website: www.zimfilmfest.co.zw.


Tonga music docu featuring @ Film Festival
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 07:29


Riva Bikarija

2nd SPFF www.spff.hr

06.08. | 20:30

Projekt “Parada” bio je jedan od najuspješnijih projekata u okviru programa Linz09 – Europska prijestolnica kulture. „Glazba u pokretu“ glasio je moto parade koja je na različitim mjestima u Linzu okupila ansamble i orkestre iz cijeloga svijeta. Reakcija publike i glazbenika bila je nevjerojatna. Tisuće ljudi spontano se pridružila glazbenicima i zajedno s njima kretala ulicama Linza.

Dariusz Kowalski i Peter Kuthan ovaj su fascinantni projekt dokumentirali filmom koji će se po prvi puta prikazati u Hrvatskoj na 2nd SPFF-u – Festivalu glazbenog dokumentarnog filma.

07.08. | 21:00 | MALA PAKLENICA
Kino Studenac
hrvatska premijera
Dariusz Kowalski / Peter Kuthan

source: http://www.kulturforum-zagreb.org/Default.aspx?sid=9335&lid=1

Harare Launch of ‘Kunzwana: The Keith Goddard Collection’
Monday, 16 May 2011 13:16

'KUNZWANA: The Keith Goddard Collection' project and website was launched at the Mannenberg in Harare on Friday 13 May 2011, by long time friends and partners Austria-Zimbabwe Friendship Association, represented by Peter Kuthan and Klaus Hollinetz, in partnership with arts development organisation Pamberi Trust (Harare) and community development organisation Basilwizi Trust (Bulawayo), supported by the Austrian Embassy in Harare and Austrian Development Cooperation.

Binga and Siabuwa communities celebrating better access to ICT
Monday, 02 May 2011 13:04

On Friday, 6th May 10 am at Siabuwa High School in Siabuwa, Binga, The school and community is set to officially receive a sixty panel solar power plant that will power up its computer lab while providing power for students and the community to study in the evenings. The solar panel installation will be handed over together with a clean drinking water plant at the school. This project was funded by Rotary Club Linz, working together with The Rotary Club Belmont and Rotary International and facilitated by Basilwizi Trust – Tonga.Online Project.

On Saturday, 7zh May, at the Binga Community Library in Binga, the local authority, Binga Rural District Council (BRDC) will officially receive a set of 15 computers with flat screens on behalf of the Binga Community. Running on Ubuntu Linux and networked, these computers form a Public Access Point (PAP) for the Binga Community for easier access to information and communication tools. Funded by Austria Zimbabwe Friendship Association and the Austrian Development Cooperation, the project was facilitated by Basilwizi Trust – Tonga.Online Project and BRDC.



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