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Paraplegic band tours Europe

Itai Mushekwe

AN eight-member paraplegic musical outfit, Liyana has defied their physical challenges and turned them into triumph following the group’s recent tour of Europe.

The little kn

own eight-member band from Bulawayo that specialises in afro beats combined with marimba and keyboards, emerged second at the Music Crossroads Southern Africa Maputo Inter Regional finals held in April.

Liyana returned a fortnight ago from a month-long European tour that took them to Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.

According to Music Crossroads Southern Africa Zimbabwe chapter, media consultant, Martin Chemhere, the group’s tour enabled them to establish strong links with festival organisers and world music promoters, a development that will see the gifted outfit returning to Europe next year for more shows.

Chemhere said Liyana had done Zimbabwe proud by acting as an arts ambassador during their tour, while marketing the country’s musical products.

“Liyana did Zimbabwe proud by spreading our musical influence into Europe and they indeed need our support,” said Chemhere.

“Without seeing them performing on stage and by listening to their music alone you can’t tell that they’re handicapped. This group has a bright future.”

All the group members of Liyana are physically challenged, five of them on wheel chairs, two on crutches and the other one is deaf. Prudence Mabhena leads the outfit. Liyana members are all students of the King George VI Memorial School in Bulawayo.

Meanwhile Music Crossroads Southern Africa Zimbabwe chapter yesterday kick started its provincial festival campaigns for Harare and Chitungwiza in which more than 30 groups are expected to participate.

The Music Crossroads programme aims to increase the level of professionalism of musicians who usually have few learning opportunities and acts as a platform to help launch their musical careers.

Music Crossroads Southern Africa is a regional youth music empowerment project that has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1996. Other chapters are in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

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