27 November 2020- Africa University and the Zimbabwe College of Music (ZCM) graduated 20 students from the Jazz and Music Ethnography degree programmes in Harare at the Zimbabwe College of Music main campus in the capital. Africa University and the ZCM enjoy a partnership that allows the latter to offer certified AU degree programmes in a move that expands the university’s programe offerings while also developing the incredible artistry and talent that Zimbabwe holds.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony on behalf of the Africa University Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa, Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mageto extended the institutions’ gratitude to the ZCM for its impeccable record of developing music professionals who have a passion for service and the development of the African music industry that has enjoyed a boon in popularity and global exposure in the past decade. He went on to say to the graduates ,
” As you set out to forge your careers, figure out if you are ready to employ your mind in the manner in which you know will lead you to the realization of your potential. Our union with the ZCM is bound by the highest levels of professionalism and excellence and these same values should direct your conduct. I challenge those graduating to think of the untapped areas of knowledge and creation that you can engage in to really bring impact to your industry.”
Prof Mageto also stressed on the need for the protection of African intellectual property and creations emphasizing the powerful partnership that is ongoing between AU and ARIPO/WIPO going on to encourage the graduates to tap into and leverage this strategic relationship to protect their music.
ZCM Executive Director Dr. Rachel Chigwanda pointed out that the occurrence of the graduation ceremony and the attainment of degrees of the graduating class despite the COVID- 19 Pandemic was a triumph and serves as a life lesson in perseverance and determination.
” This is a perseverance of humanity. So much was placed before us but we have overcome to realize this day. As the ZCM, we are proud that our affiliation with Africa University has helped us see an increase in our enrollment. Through such programmes, we are seeing professionals challenged and changed for the better. We thank Africa University for their stewardship of our joint programmes, their partnership and their steadfast support. We have managed to complete our state of the art studio with funds generously availed to us by our parent Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education which is gradually bringing us up to world class standard. Internet connectivity through the Edu-Zone facility is allowing our students the freedom to research, learn and create wherever they are. In line with the times, we will soon be opening our virtual library. Our aspiration is to eventually open an African music innovation hub where the sounds , instruments and creative energy of Africa can coalesce and come alive. We are harnessing the passion, raw talent and energy of our artists to take African music worldwide. These graduates of 2020 shall fear nothing. They have been through truly unprecedented and unpredictable times . They have been challenged beyond measure and yet they still persevered.”
Edu- Zones are communication and learning networks powered by Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe which are designed to enhance internet access in schools and university campuses in Zimbabwe for free.
Guest of Honor and Key Note Speaker The Honorable Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Professor dr. Amon Murwira in his address said,
The future of a country is determined by what is taught in its classrooms. No nation can develop faster than its education system. Industrialization and modernization does not come about by accident but through intention and design. The industry of music is the industry of connection We must base our music on our heritage. The Mbira has a place of pride in our culture as Zimbabweans. When we lost the art of playing it, when we were taught to stop listening to its harmonious chords, we allowed ourselves to be defeated, our history erased and replaced by the knowledge systems and mores of another culture that did not belong to us. This was the legacy of colonialism. We must release our minds from the cycle of defeat and renew our education based upon our heritage as Zimbabweans and Africans.”
The Jazz and the Ethnography programmes are hosted in the Africa University College of Social Sciences, Theology, Humanities and Education in the Department of Humanities led by Ms. Jennifer Muzamhindo with the affiliate music programmes curated by the Choir Director and Music Lecturer Mr.Tendekai Kuture .