The Africa University Choir Alumni remember and pay tribute to Dr. Patrick ‘SHENANDOAH” Matsikenyiri

21 January 2021

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of our Choir Master and gentle giant, who touched many lives through music at Africa University for over twenty-nine years beginning with the Alpha class of 1992.

As we lovingly nicknamed him, Shenandoah was a great mentor, visionary songwriter, performer, and crooner. Dr Matsikenyiri composed the legendary song, The Dream, that was performed at the official opening of Africa University in 1994 to commemorate Bishop Hartzell’s century-old vision becoming alive.

Dignitaries who attended the official opening event, including the late former President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, HE Robert Gabriel Mugabe were so moved as to stand up to dance along to Dr
Matsikenyiri’s performance.

Who can forget the electric Sana Sana melody that was the closing song by the choir at the first Chancellor Gala in 1995 and brought the house down?

Dr Matsikenyiri was instrumental in 1996, in enabling the first of many annual tours by the Africa University Chamber Choir to the United States of America. He orchestrated the production of the first
media recording CD titled Africa Praise I and that was distributed internationally by the Africa University choir in 1995.

Dr Patrick Matsikenyiri’s passion for music and his animated performances left an indelible impression on us and everyone who interacted with him.

Inspired by him, numerous Alumni went on to become Choir Masters throughout Africa and the diaspora.

A Giant Scholar of Music and Champion of African Praise and Worship has fallen!

We extend our heartfelt condolences to Amai Matsikenyiri, and the family — thank you for sharing his memory with us! We grieve with the Africa University community, the United Methodist Church community, and all those whose lives he touched.

May you find comfort in the knowledge that he dedicated his life to service doing what he was most passionate about and his legacy lives on through the many lives he so deeply touched.

Travel well, fambai zvakanaka Shenandoah. We are grateful for your passion and will miss your positive energy, theatrics, your music prowess, mentorship, wise counsel, and generous fatherly love.

We are thankful for all our memories – the practice sessions, live performances, and the treasure of music you bequeathed us and the world.

Till we meet again and sing together in the Heavenly Choir.

Hosanna, from the Africa University Choir Alumni.