As westernization has slowly taken a foothold in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, our culture has experienced an onslaught of elements meant to destroy it. The messengers of traditional roots music has over the years continuously dwindled as other music genres like, Zimbabwean urban grooves rise up within a more technological world that bombards fledgling cultures with disinformation and a sense of easy assimilation.
Gone are the great poets of days gone by such as Dumisani Maraire founder of “nyunga nyunga” a variation of traditional Mbira music, or Ephat Mujuru who at first specialized in “mbira dzevazdimu”. We at Dande have always had a yearning to bring back the original roots of our culture within a working framework of today’s current music influences. Most artists who are roots centered, have given up or simply abandoned the dream because they feel it is unattainable. Artists such as Mukanya no longer play due to the lack luster appetite of the people and community, wrongly drawing to the conclusion that our ancestral music is a dying breed.
We at Dande disagree in this view and only deal with music we believe is transmitted directly from the ancestral spirits themselves. Micho the leader of the group has been seen to at times wake up from his sleep in a trance and start playing music which he will not remember when he snaps out of his melodic episodes. The natural world exists and simply believe we should strive to impart its existence to our neighbors. Everything that we are involved in is spiritually and culturally rooted, this is our cornerstone and our compass. The allegory and idioms we use all relate to all current modern day dilemmas that can be explained using old tried and tested wisdom from those who lived before us in a simpler time yet still experienced the same rush of human turmoil and emotion that afflicts today’s world. Come to our shows listen to the music and prose and feel the sense of the word we are trying to spread throughout Toronto and the world as a veld-fire that one could see if they were standing on the sands of the Sahara desert.