Arts & Leisure

Nobuntu brings the sounds of Zimbabwe to Middlebury — in person

The Middlebury Performing Arts Series will present Nobuntu, the spirited all-female a cappella ensemble from Zimbabwe, in a live concert on Friday, Feb. 18. Photo / Verner Puntigam

Nobuntu, the dazzling female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, will kick off the Middlebury Performing Arts Series’ spring 2022 season on Friday, Feb. 18 at the Mahaney Arts Center (MAC). The MAC is pleased to announce that live, in-person events will resume for Middlebury College’s spring semester, with audiences welcome from both on- and off-campus. Vaccinations and boosters (or valid medical or religious exemptions) and masks are required.

Nobuntu has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Mbube songs to Afro Jazz and Gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with strong, pure voices, accompanied by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as the Mbira, and authentic dance movements.

About the Artists

Nobuntu is a joyous quintet of young female singers, instrumentalists, and songwriters: Zanele Manhenga, Thandeka Moyo, Duduzile Sibanda, Heather Dube and Joyline Sibanda.

Nobuntu was nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in London in 2015, and is a two-time winner for the Best Imbube Group at the Bulawayo Arts Awards 2017 and 2019. In the last few seasons, the quintet has performed at festivals and concert halls in Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and throughout the African continent. The ensemble was a huge critical success at “Trans-Vocal” in Frankfurt and “Voice Mania” in Vienna. Their first tour to Canada, in 2016, included performances in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria.

Back at home, Nobuntu holds a number of community initiatives, including The Nobuntu Pad Bank, where they gather sanitary pads for young women in the arts in underprivileged communities. Nobuntu has released three recordings: “Thina” in 2013, “Ekhaya” in 2016, and “Obabes beMbube” in 2018. The group has made dozens of television and radio appearances throughout Africa and Europe promoting these recordings and the culture of their homeland.

The word Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity and family from a woman’s perspective. The ensemble represents a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty, and heritage through art. The ensemble’s mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender and economic boundaries.

Don’t miss this in-person performance at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall on Friday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Middlebury faculty/staff and alumni, $10 for youth, and $5 for Middlebury College students. Vaccinations and boosters (or valid medical or religious exemptions) and masks are required. For tickets, health and safety protocols, and information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to middlebury.edu/arts.

Share this story:

More News
Arts & Leisure

For pastel painter, home is where the art is

Judy Albright not only reflects these values in her art, but also by using her work to ben … (read more)

Arts & Leisure

Weybridge photojournalist shows Vermonters working in the woods

Vermont Folklife, in partnership with Weybridge photojournalist George Bellerose, is proud … (read more)

Arts & Leisure

MNFF presents drama ‘TED K’ at THT on Feb. 5

Theodore John Kaczynski lived a life of almost complete seclusion in a simple wooden cabin … (read more)

Share this story: