Zimfest News Blog

More Zimfest Updates

Here are a few more details, as the festival is nearly underway.

  • All kinds of Workshops have openings. Come register in person at Oregon State University.
  • We have replaced all five of Innocent Musafare Mutero’s marimba workshops. For a summary of the changes, see the Festival Updates & Workshop Changes page. For complete descriptions of these – and all Zimfest workshops — see Workshop Details.
  • All meal cards — for meal plans and commuter cards — will be given out by UHDS (OSU housing and dining services) staff, not by Zimfest. UHDS and Zimfest Registration are both located in McNary Hall.
  • Don’t forget to pick up your prepaid evening concert tickets at the Zimfest registration desk when you check in.
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Three Days Until Zimfest

Dear Zimfest Community,

Zimfest is only three days away, and even though we are still processing the loss of Martha Thom Mafuleni, there are a few announcements to make:

Weather/Heat: Corvallis has forecasted highs of 92-96°F (33-36°C) for the entire weekend. Please come prepared with plenty of water and sunscreen for the concerts and a fan for sleeping.

Mosquitos: There may be mosquitos at the outdoor concerts (afternoon, and evening), consider bringing long-sleeved shirts, pants, or insect repellant.

Parking for RVs (and others): There has been a slight change of procedure for those who signed up for RV parking: you will be sent an email with guidance on how and and where to park in the designated lot at Adams Ave. NE, (see map on housing page) and will not have to register online as we were initially told. Those who have registered online for parking in the OSU “B” lots may also park in the same lot.

Village Meeting: This year’s village meeting will be held on Sunday, August 6th, at 9:30am in McNary Dining Center. The Zimfest Association Board and Organizing Committee will share updates, and receive feedback from the community.


Alex Weeks
Zimfest Board President

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In Memory of Martha Thom Mafuleni

By Dana Moffett. Posted by Claire Jones on behalf of the Organizing Committee and ZA Board.

Dear Friends of the Mafuleni Family,

I hope this email finds you in good health and spirits. Today, I write to you with a heavy heart, as our dear friend Jacob Mafuleni is going through an unimaginable tragedy. As you may have heard, Jacob has lost three family members, including his beloved wife Martha Thom Mafuleni, in a tragic road accident in Zimbabwe, leaving him devastated and in desperate need of our support.

This tragedy has not only taken away his mother Gogo Mafuleni, his brother Zondiwa Mafuleni, but also a remarkable woman who was the heart and soul of their family and community. Jacob’s sister-in-law, sister, and niece are hospitalized. Our community has fully supported school fees and family support for their children Abel, Jacob Jr, Byron, and Tinotenda. This is another way to help out our beloved family during this devastating time.

Martha, Jacob’s wife, was an exceptional dancer, a dedicated teacher, and an invaluable pillar of the music and dance community both in Zimbabwe and here in the United States. Her passion for dance was contagious, and she touched the lives of countless students, inspiring them to embrace the art form and pursue their dreams. Through her teaching, Martha nurtured a new generation of talented dancers, leaving a lasting impact on her Dzivarasekwa community’s cultural landscape.

Beyond her role as a dance teacher, Martha was a beacon of strength and compassion. She always lent a helping hand to those in need and radiated warmth that made everyone feel welcomed and cared for. Her contributions to the community went far beyond the dance floor and performance stage, as she selflessly dedicated herself to various charitable initiatives and events, enriching the lives of those around her.

In the face of this heartbreaking loss, we have set up a GoFundMe campaign through Matanho Project to help our dear friend Jacob in this trying time and to honor Martha’s memory. The funds raised will not only support him with immediate expenses but also serve as a tribute to the legacy of a remarkable woman who touched so many lives. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, will make a significant difference in Jacob’s life and ensure that Martha’s impact on our community is remembered and celebrated.

Here’s how you can help:
1. Donate: Every dollar counts, and your donation will directly impact Jacob’s life. https://gofund.me/9206e6bf

2. Share: Even if you are unable to donate at this time, you can still make a difference. Share the GoFundMe campaign with your family, and friends, and on social media to reach a broader audience who may be willing to lend their support.

Let us stand united in this moment of darkness, celebrating the life of a woman who brightened our lives, and be a beacon of hope for our friend in need. Together, we can ease his burden and ensure that Martha’s legacy lives on in the hearts of those she touched.

If you have any questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Thank you for your compassion, generosity, and solidarity in this time of grief. Let’s surround Jacob with love and support as he navigates through this painful chapter of his life and cherishes the memory of his beloved Martha.

With heartfelt gratitude,
Dana Moffett

Mafuleni family photo

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Festival Updates

Dear Zimfest community,

We are saddened and disappointed to announce that Innocent Musafare Mutero has been denied his visa in South Africa and will be unable to join us for Zimfest 2023. The Teachers and Workshops Team is working flat out to find teachers to take over his workshops and we will let you know when we confirm the revisions to the workshop schedule.

Some festival tips:

  • The weather forecast for Corvallis next weekend is above 90 degrees F. for the duration of the festival! Bring fans for your rooms and stay hydrated! We are no longer providing water to concert performers (trying to avoid plastic water bottles), so bring your own water containers.  To help you out, we will be selling iced fizzy water, probably La Croix, at the Zimfest booth during marketplace hours.
  • Sales for Zimfest tees and this year’s special product, lightweight hoodies, at this year’s Zimfest Booth will again be cash and check only – no added fees! – as we evaluate cashless payment options for future. Bring your cash! If you forget, there are ATMs nearby, in McNary Dining Center as well as the Memorial Union, site of several Zimfest workshop rooms.
  • We are getting attention in Corvallis newspapers, noting the the return of Zimfest to OSU! Enjoy this online version of a story in the Gazette-Times.

Stay cool!

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Updates – 10 Days and Counting!

News from the OC and our OSU hosts:

  • OSU University Housing and Dining (UHDS) has added to their housing check-in times in the McNary Hall Main Lounge to better accommodate Zimfest participants’ arrival times. Their housing check-in (and check-out) hours on Thursday Aug 3 through Sunday Aug 6 will be the same as Zimfest registration hours, spelled out in the Festival Schedule and On-campus Housing pages. Housing check-in for staff and early arrivals on Wednesday Aug 2 remains the same, as does the 9-11 AM final check-out time on Monday August 7.
  • UHDS has agreed to keep the South Entrance of McNary Hall unlocked during the hours that housing check-in and Zimfest registration are open. Enter through this door (see below) if you have not yet checked in or if you are staying elsewhere and commuting.

McNary Hall First Floor

  • All Zimfest participants should visit the Zimfest registration area in McNary Hall whether or not you signed up for housing in the dorm, to pick up your meal plan cards and pre-paid single meal cards. We will also be giving out the Festival handout and map showing the workshop locations and festival schedules.
  • Meal times in McNary Dining Center have increased to two hours apiece: Breakfast 7-9 AM; Lunch 11:00 AM – 1 PM: and Dinner 5:00–7:00 PM. See On-Campus Dining for more info.
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Zimfest Deadlines and Check-ins

Hi Zimfest-goers,

Some deadline dates and pointers as festival time approaches:

  • July 18 – Tuesday – is the last day to register for housing (including RV permits) and meals. Click the links for info on on-campus housing and meals.
  • July 18 is also the last date for vendor applications. Be aware that there is a fee for late applications, and we cannot guarantee that latecomers will be provided with tables or chairs as we are renting them from a third party this year.
  • On July 23, workshops with less than minimum enrollment will be canceled. (The minimum is two for mbira workshops; three for all others.) If you have a credit for a previously-canceled workshop, or just haven’t gotten around to deciding what to sign up for, check the workshop list. Support your favorite teacher by signing up for a low enrollment workshop before the 23rd and keep it from being canceled!
  • July 25 – Online workshop registration and volunteer signups close at 11 PM. No changes until August 3rd onsite at the festival.
  • Housing check-in at McNary Hall: Please note the times listed for checking-in for dorm rooms. Zimfest staff is aware that it is difficult for people taking public transit to time their arrival during these windows of time. If you cannot make it during the listed times, UHDS is insistent that you phone this staff on-call duty phone  541-243-2617 when you arrive. I am sorry to have written on the website that other arrangements could be made, but we will continue to try to work with them.

A final tip for renters of dorm rooms – bring a fan!

Claire and the OC

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Festival Updates

Zimfest community,

We are disappointed to announce that Moyo Mutamba has had to cancel his participation in Zimfest 2023 due to personal reasons. We have been able to find excellent replacement teachers for all but one of his workshops, spelled out in the Workshop Changes page on the website. You may also wish to check for adjustments to the Friday and Sunday concert schedules to make up for the loss of Moyo and Friends mbira. 

Festival Hints

As the festival is a mere three weeks away, start preparing now! Those of you who are driving and plan on parking on campus, be advised that permits are mandatory for on-campus parking from 7 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday, but free on the weekend. Advance online purchase of a visitor permit is recommended, and there is information on how to go about it on the Parking page. If you check the Zimfest map, it looks like the parking lot on Jefferson way between the dorm and the outdoor stage would be most convenient, but it is not! That is a small lot, loading and unloading for the stage and marketplace will take place from reserved parking sites there, and it is more expensive! We recommend you park in the (cheaper) Zone B parking lots south of McNary Hall and Dining Center. 

See you soon,

Claire and the 2023 Organizing Committee

Music Dancing Across Borders

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June Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the June 11 meeting of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors have been posted.

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To Our Zimfest Volunteers

We L-O-V-E our volunteers!

L-ive the life of a helper
O-pen your heart as you share the work
V-olunteer to show you care
E-veryone can do it!

Thanks to all who have signed up to volunteer. For those who haven’t yet, we need your helping hands! The Volunteer Coordinators are still looking for folks who can join in the “many hands make light work” idea for Zimfest 2023. In case you didn’t know, Zimfest is run by volunteers and in order to keep the festival going and have it be a success, we could use your help. You choose when and how much you want to be involved and then sign up, either online when you register (until July 30th), or in person at the festival—it’s that easy!

We are still looking for people in these areas:
– General festival set up
– Decorations: Setup and Marketplace
– Volunteer Table and Tent
– Workshop support
– Marketplace setup/takedown
– General festival cleanup and signage takedown

So please join us for the cause and share in the love for this festival.

~Ev Keller
Zimfest 2023 Volunteer Co-Coordinator

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Pre-Festival Events in Corvallis

We want to let you know that there will some Zimfest-sponsored outreach events in Corvallis before the festival starts in earnest Aug. 3. These are now appearing on the Festival Events page:

  • Sunday, July 30, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Tashinga Marimba, an Ancient Ways ensemble, will be playing at Common Fields. Entrance is free and family friendly; donations greatly appreciated. Tell all your friends in the Corvallis area!

  • Wednesday, August 2, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Zivanai Masango (and probably some friends) will be playing at the Old World Deli. No cover charge, but tips welcome! If you plan to come early for the festival, here’s a treat for you!

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Zimfest Update and Afropop Shoutout

Greetings All,

  • We are overjoyed to see the popularity of drumming workshops this year! Sheree Seretse’s session 3 beginning drum class is full with 15 people, but if you would like to join and can bring a drum, please write to her at anzanga[at]aol[dot]com for permission to register. Please note also that she has a beginning marimba workshop on “Butsu Mutandari” during session 7, which needs enrollees!
  • Afropop’s audio program this week is a story on Zim Dancehall, which started out as an underground subculture and is now the country’s most popular genre. Find links to other Afropop features on Zimbabwean musicians, including the late Oliver Mtukudzi and Ambuya Stella Chiweshe, on the bottom of the page.

Enjoy the summer weather!
Zimfest Organizing Committee

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Updates

Greetings Zimfest Community,

We regret to inform you that Gwenyambira Joyce Warikandwa Chihera will not be joining us at Zimfest this year as her visa was denied. We hope to see her in a future year. Please see the Workshop Changes webpage for adjustments to the schedule to accommodate her absence.

The ZA Board has revised the COVID safety policy, to recommend (but not require) masking in indoor public spaces at the festival. Consult Covid Safety at Zimfest 2023 for details.


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