Zimfest is an annual celebration of all the music and culture of Zimbabwe. This year being like no other, Zimfest 2021 organizers decided that the festival would for the first time attempt to provide direct and indirect support to Zimbabwean craftspeople, whose visual arts contribute as much to the rich culture of Zimbabwe as do her performing artists.
The 2021 Virtual Marketplace features vendors and importers selling instruments and wares made only by Zimbabweans. We hope you will enjoy shopping at some of the online stores we have sought out for you. Know that your purchases help support Zimbabwean artisans, many of whom rely on a tourist trade decimated by the COVID pandemic. If you do make a purchase from any of these vendors, let them know that Zimfest sent you!
We are selling ZAP (Zimbabwean Artists Project) artwork: painted boards, embroidered pieces, sadza paintings, quilts, note cards, picture frames, serving trays and baskets. Sales, currently facilitated by the Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center, support the artistry and accomplishments of women from rural Weya in eastern Zimbabwe, helping these artists become economically self-sufficient. Contact person: Erin Ely;
Zimbowties creates handmade wearable art from upcycled fabric offcuts: pre-tied bow ties, face masks, traditional bow ties, hair bows, bow pins and neck ties. Our sales allow us to pay our artisans more than five times the minimum wage in Zimbabwe, save massive amounts of water by not using virgin fabrics, and inspire Zim’s talented and creative youth through our creativity award program. Contact person: Kim White;
I sell jewelry and small art pieces, especially carved nyaminyami, made by the Harare sculptor Lawrence Mzimba. Lawrence and I met several years ago in Victoria Falls, and I serve as a conduit for the sale and shipping of his carvings. All proceeds from the Etsy shop, NyaminyamiAFRICA, go to Lawrence for the support of his family. Contact person: Edward D Eisenhart;
Sekhani Unathi manufactures and sells custom-made baby, adolescent and adult clothing. Based in Harare, our team of four creates original designs and enjoys meeting our clients’ specific needs. By empowering young women through employment opportunities and distributing clothing to those in need, Sekhani Unathi gives back to the community that helps it grow. Orders are currently being taken via email (), WhatsApp (+263 77 329 3921), Instagram and Facebook, with payments through WorldRemit. Contact person: Tariro Ndoro.
Our Zim friend Smart Sikosana has curated and shipped hundreds of items from his collection that he would be selling in person except for the pandemic. The items are mainly wood carvings, but he has also procured cloth goods like batik table runners and trivets made by local women. We gladly return proceeds to Smart in Zimbabwe to help him and his collaborators. Use the ZIMFEST15 promo code for 15% off! Contact person: Donald Woolston;
We sell headwork jewelry handmade by members of the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe. Necklaces include the iconic white “Ruth Bader Ginsburg collar” and other traditional and contemporary designs in various colors; we also sell earrings, bracelets, belts and bags. Proceeds go to the makers in Zimbabwe, who struggle with poverty and lack of opportunity. Contact person: Jeanne Pimentel;
Our product line ranges from functional and decorative baskets to wooden and wire animal figurines. Come and check out our delightful wooden meerkat figurines. BaskArts is a for profit fair trade initiative to connect handmade artisans with opportunities in North America, offering premium quality products that appeal to both the modern home and the collector. Contact person: Rutendo Musharu;
We are selling mbira (nhare and nyunga nyunga) made by Wamkanganise (aka Salani) as well as Zimbabwean leather and batik crafts and more. We are a for-profit organization that uplifts Zimbabwean instrument makers and artists from Epworth, Mbare and Glen Norah in Zimbabwe. Contact person: Kelly Takunda Orphan;
I am a full-time Zimbabwean instrument maker now based in Antwerp, Belgium. I make nyunga nyunga in traditional scales, minor scales and chromatic scales, in various sizes and with various numbers of keys, as well as fashioning customized nyunga nyunga instruments. I also make mbira dzavadzimu in various tunings and sell a variety of instructional materials and music cds. Contact person: Dingiswayo Juma;
GIAMARI (Global Institute of African Marimba Rhythm Initiative), formerly known as Kutinya Arts, specializes in marimba education and technology. We have marimbas, nyunga nyungas and hosho (pumpkin and fibreglass) for sale. Our services include conducting youth marimba camps, adjudicating marimba competitions, hosting foreign marimba groups, conducting a marimba education development center and consulting for international marimba festivals and competitions. Contact person: Nicholas Manomano;
MBIRA is a non-profit organization supporting traditional musicians and instrument makers in Zimbabwe through sales of their recordings and instruments. Help support them by shopping at https://mbira.org/store/ and add a donation – 100% of donations June 15-Sept. 15 go to paying mbira players to teach in Zimbabwe’s public schools. Contact person: Erica Azim;
More Instrument Makers
These craftspeople do not have websites or online stores but would be happy to hear from you directly about your instrument needs. The list includes only those who have given us permission to publish their contact information.
Nyazura, Makoni District; +263 782357047
Chitungwiza; +263 773273826, Facebook Garikayi Tirikoti
nhare dzavadzimu in many tunings, nyunga nyunga
Ntswai Ntswai Arts
Lino Piloto, Dangamvura, Mutare; +263 772730681, +263 712757661
(see Ntswai Ntswai Instrument Production Team)
mbira dzevadzimu, nyunga nyunga, marimba