Music Crossroads Academy Zimbabwe (MCAZ), an organization that seeks to improve the self-awareness and social inclusion of young Africans, has launched a three-month skill enhancement program to help promote gender equality and empower female musicians.
With support from the German Embassy in Zimbabwe, the project began on 1 September with 15 female musicians including, Pah Chihera, Pamela “Miss Unique” Dzvinamurungu, Pauline Gundidza, Fungai Chinogaramombe, Nancy Mutize, Blessed Priviledge of Lelo’Langa, Memory Zikhali of Umoja and Indoni Zomculo.
The sessions feature a variety of topics such as the history of female musicians, self-awareness, confidence building, gender mainstreaming, cultural entrepreneurship, branding and marketing among others.
The project will also focus on improving the participants’ performance skills, and every training session has an hour of intensive rehearsals and practical music-skill coaching with Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana. These rehearsals will culminate in a performance at the second edition of the Fusion Africa Festival, another brainchild of the MCAZ.
The skill enhancement program comes in the wake of challenges faced by most African women in accessing music education: Women in the music business are often perceived as lacking moral values, and may be viewed as rebels or sex objects; Women are also unable to commit to music education fully as they have more social responsibilities—all of these tends to lead to a situation in which only a few women receive professional training. A trend the Music Academy Zimbabwe seeks to change.