Home » Judicial » Fire Guts Mbira Shrine

Renowned mbira ensemble Mbira DzeNharira suffered a huge blow after a music hall at their Nharira Cultural Centre in Norton was destroyed by fire last week.

The structure was a crucial part of the centre as it was used for traditional gatherings while various upcoming mbira artistes conducted training and rehearsals in the hall.

The fire is suspected to have been caused by an unknown homeless person who was secretly squatting at the shrine.

“We noticed some time ago that there was a person who was spending nights in the hall as we would see ashes and various possessions. It did not bother us then because it seemed the habitant was homeless,” said Mbira DzeNharira founder Tendai Gahamadze

Popularly known as Samaita, the mbira elder said they did not try to stop the homeless person from using the hall as a sign of humanity but the gesture has backfired as it led to the destruction of the property.

Gahamadze, however, said they were picking up the pieces and focusing on the future.

“There is nothing we can do but move on and try to rebuild the structure. It has been an important part of the centre because it provided a platform for performers. Upcoming mbira players and even dancehall youths from surrounding areas used it,” he said.

The structure that is reported to have been worth $10 000 was built in 2007.

Because of shortage of resources, it had taken time to complete the building and the efforts have now gone down the drain.

“We are making plans to raise funds so that we may rebuild the hall. A lot of talent has come out of it and it is unfortunate things ended up like this,” he said.

“Even the youths were saddened by the arson and wanted to launch a manhunt for the culprit but we have restrained them because we believe it was an accident.”

Gahamadze said they will soon reveal shows and the various activities that they plan to conduct to raise funds for rebuilding the hall.

Source : The Herald