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
Look for Nhemamusasa North's 2019 Guest Artists to be announced here in the Spring!

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

Guest Artists

Garadziva Chigamba

Garadziva Chigamba

A musician since age five, having learned from both his father (mbira master Tute Chigamba) and through his own love of music, Garadziva embodies expression as a prolific composer, soulful singer, dancer and master musician on marimba, mbira and ngoma.

He has travelled worldwide with Mhembero, performing in China, Japan, the U.S., Canada, Malaysia, Libya, South Africa and Zambia.

Now living in Canada, Chigamba has been teaching and performing Zimbabwean traditional music and dance in various schools and to independent students in Canada for several years.

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.

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.

Amy and Tafadzwa Matamba

Amy and Tafadzwa Matamba

Amy and Tafadzwa Matamba are Performing Artists, Educators, Inclusive Leaders and Cultural Ambassadors who live and work on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, and in Zimbabwe, Africa. Through their band Mbira Spirit and their Matamba Cultural Arts and Education Centre, they promote local arts and culture, help to preserve traditions and heritage, and serve local and sister communities in order to better lives and make a difference.

Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa

Kurai was born in 1977 in the village of Murewa in Zimbabwe. He began playing the mbira at the age of six, learning from his father, his uncle, and other village elders. He has been singing and dancing since the first moment he could talk and walk, growing up in the rich cultural environment of his father's village. He often played mbira and drums and danced in traditional ceremonies and other public 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 Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Canada, 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
Moyo Mutamba grew up mostly in the Ndau/Karanga-speaking areas of Zimbabwe, immersed in muchongoyo, maduda and ngororombe drumming and dance. He fell in love with mbira from hearing his great-uncle play at family gatherings and from recordings of Sekuru Gora, Mbuya Chiweshe, Mushawapara and Master Chivero, among others, on ZBC Radio 2.

Moyo counts among his teachers internationally celebrated mbira players Mbuya Chiweshe, Forward Kwenda, Garikayi Tirikoti and Alois Mutinhiri. Recently, he returned to Zimbabwe for a three-month mbira mentorship immersion with Garikayi Tirikoti, where he learnt Tirikoti's seven-mbira orchestra style.

Since 2007, Moyo has been teaching and playing mbira in Canada, combining mbira with his love for storytelling. He regularly holds one-on-one and group mbira, hosho and song classes at his home. Moyo is the co-founder of Nhapitapi Mbira Group, in which he plays mbira, sings and dances. In addition to being a practitioner of Zim arts, Moyo is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. His work focuses on indigenous cultures, ceremony and ritual, and their relevance to education in general. This work has led him into conversations with Zimbabwean elders, mbira players, healers, spirit mediums, wisdom keepers and elders around the cultural aspects of music and dance. Moyo has an infectious passion for playing and teaching Zimbabwean music.

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.

Full time fee • Adults $600 • Children/Youth $400

Daily fee • Adults $150 • Children/Youth $120

Tuition after June 16th

Full time fee • Adults $675 • Children/Youth $450

Daily fee • Adults $175 • Children/Youth $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. 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.

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 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 July 31st (no dinner provided on-site). First workshops begin Tuesday morning. Camp will end after breakfast on Sunday August 6th.


For more information or call 250-737-1331.