Zimbabwe Music and Art


  • Mbira — traditional music style of the Shona — similar to American jazz
  • Mbira music is played on an instrument that is also called a mbira
  • Forward Kwenda — outstanding mbira performer
  • Henry Olonga – Cricket player/musician/artist – – learn more at http://www.henryolonga.net/container/


  • Zimbabweans carve some of the the finest wooden carvings you will find anywhere in Africa. They are extraordinarily talented.
  • Shona stone sculpture (this is now widely recognized as one of the most significant art movements to have evolved in recent times.)
  • Learn more about Zimbabwean Art here.

(Rogers, Barbara R and Rogers, Stillman D. Zimbabwe. New York, NY: Children’s Press, 2002.)


Lesson Plan Ideas for Music & Art in Zimbabwe

  1. Talk to the music teacher at your school to see if he/she has access to an mbira that he/she can show them and let them try in music class.
  2. Watch videos online of mbira music.
  3. Watch videos of Forward Kwenda (the outstanding mbira performer.
  4. Students can listen to “Our Zimbabwe” which is a beautiful song written by Henry Olonga– found both in Shona and English with a slideshow.
  5. Read the descriptions of Zimbabwean Art –show the pictures and discuss. Allow students to complete the English Connection worksheet and share their sentences with their classmates.