The ngoma buntibe group at Siachilaba takes its name from the composer (mwimbi), called Simonga, who fled with his relatives from fighting chiefs in Zambia to Siachilaba sometime towards the beginning of this century. He was the grandfather of Sialwindi Munkuli, the present leader of Simonga and the keeper of the horns in central Siachilaba today.

In 1994, Simonga presented a performance of Valley Tonga buntibe music as part of a Festival Trail, the last segment of the Houses of Stone Festival organised by KUNZWANA Trust. In 1995, a similar event took place as part of a cultural safari organised by members of the Austria-Zimbabwe Friendship Association in Linz, Austria in conjunction with KUNZWANA.

Kunzwana # 1 - heading for Tonga Ngoma Buntibe music and HIFA

Kunzwana # 1 is a trans-cultural collaboration of both musical storytelling and freely improvised music, in an exciting encounter between seven outstanding Austrian and Zimbabwean musicians which will unfold across the Southern African region through Harare and Johannesburg this April/May, and move on to perform in Europe later in the year.

The tour starts with a visit by the Austrian musicians to the group Simonga in the remote village of Siachilaba deep in the Zambezi Valley, a vivid encounter with the traditional Ngoma Buntibe musical art form / Tonkunst / of the Tonga people, highlighted as a source of inspiration.

Read more ...

Tales of Resilience - an arts project promoting story telling by Tonga women

In April there will be another photography workshop for women held in Siachilaba by the Zimbabwean artists Annie Mpalume and Calvin Dondo from Harare. They will be joined by three Austrian artists who are embarking on an extensive cultural exchange highlighting the cultural resilience of the Tonga people.

For the Tales of Resilience - series they will use a custom-made radio set as an interface for storytelling. The narrative will be formed by women of the group Simonga from the Tonga community in Siachilaba. Some of these women have been traveling to Europe twice within the last few years in dramatic contrast to their lives in rural Binga.

Read more ...

Simonga-Maliko rehearsals and preparations for Parade @ Linz09 started


Preparations and rehearsals for a joint Simonga - Maliko Ngoma Buntibe ensemble to be established to participate at Parade - a major music event in Linz / Austria in early May 2009 (when Linz will be Cultural Capital of Europe in 2009) - have been starting in Sinazongwe, home of Maliko in Zambia. Sengamo Ndlovu, who is organising the event writes from Maamba / Southern Province of Zambia:

Read more ...

Linz 2009: Europe’s Capital of Culture will be featuring Tonga music

The second programme booklet of Linz2009 is out and announcing: “The horns and percussion instruments of the Tonga will mingle with brass music from Zanzibar and Iran, with walking alphorns from Switzerland and moving balaphones from West Africa, duxianquins from China and tromps from our own remote Alpine regions or the master drummers from the foothills of the Himalayas”.

Tracing The Tonga, Diary


Last August the two photographers Calvin Dondo from Harare and John Tylo from Harrachstal undertook an ambitious journey together with some Austrian friends. They went by train from Linz via Attnang-Puchheim and Ebensee to Bad Aussee and Grundlsee as the starting point for a walk up to Pühringerhätte in the Totes Gebirge / Dead mountain range.

Read more ...

Signs of Life calendar

"January means a new start, and new hope for a good year" (Theo Sianyuka).

“Twalumba twanjila munyaka mupya katupona. Tulasyooma kuti Leza ulatugwasya kuti tuzwidilile kulizyonse mukubeleka kwesu mu Tonga online project. Muboole mubwingi bwanu kuzoyiiya ma computers at Binga High School” “

Read more ...

Calvin Dondo to join walk "Tracing the Tonga"

Calvin Dondo, a foto artist from Zimbabwe will  join the walk "TRACING THE TONGA"  TOTES GEBIRGE / AUSTRIA, from 10 - 12th August 2001.

Read more ...