The Academy

The Academy runs week-long residential courses for students of music, ethnomusicology and other related disciplines.

Participants learn mbira playing as well as explore of the Shona Ancestral belief system and the historical connections between the British Empire and Zimbabwe.

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Our Vision

The Mbira Academy ideology is built upon the values of connection, learning and change.

'Mhararano', which means 'the cross roads' in Shona, is an educational movement responding to and connecting with nature and the individual needs of people.

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Chartwell grew up in rural Zimbabwe and started playing the mbira when he was four. Chartwell and his brother would often play mbira all night, calling the ancestral spirits for guidance, as has been done in Zimbabwe over centuries.

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