Biography

David Gweshe is a true pioneer of Zimbabwean music, constantly expanding the boundaries of traditional Shona music. Whether playing mbira at a bira ceremony or leading a group playing electric guitars, marimba, accordion—or, in this case, steel drum—the wisdom of his spirituality comes through.

Born in 1940, Sekuru Gweshe comes from the Budya people, a subgroup of the Kore Kore. He is a descendant of Nehoreka, the first of the Budya people and the founder of the Shumba totem originating in Tanganyika (Tanzania). He began playing njari at age 14 and over time added keys to the njari in order to "play all the parts" of the music that he heard in his head. This is how Gweshe devised the Munyonga mbira featured on his CD Mhuri YekwaNehoreka. The songs on this recording are mainly played at religious functions in which the music is used to summon ancestral spirits.

Gweshe is a spiritual leader who has an important message for the people of today. He feels that through colonization and suppression of the indigenous cultures of the world, people have lost their sense of self-importance and the power of their traditional culture. The 'civilized madness' of today is not helping eliminate the problems of drought, disease, and corruption. By going back to our ancestors, we can learn to fix these problems.

Gweshe, born and raised in Zimbabwe, absorbed Shona culture from his elders. (The Shona people are the earliest human inhabitants of Zimbabwe). A descendant of an ancient line of spiritualists, musicians, and dancers, Gweshe is a spiritual leader of his people, Grandmaster of the mbira (a sacred ceremonial instrument related to the kalimba or thumb piano), and the director and choreographer of his own internationally recognized dance company, the Boterekwa Dance Troupe.

Through music, dance, and lecture, Gweshe breaks down barriers that stand between people of diverse backgrounds, preventing them from having respectful dialogues.

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