Boost for artists with disability

Maria Chiguvari

THE “Musicable Project”, a music mentorship programme focused on supporting women with disabilities in the music industry, is currently underway.

Mentors Pauline Gundidza, Vuyo Brown and Raven Duchess are working with female musicians, Chipo Muchegwa, Sithandazile Gumbo and Jacqueline Mpofu, respectively. The initiative will empower participants to record their music and access markets. Additionally, the project will create a documentary about the journey and will host a series of workshops for artists with disabilities.

POVOAfrika Trust held a third panel discussion on Saturday in Mutare featuring Pauline the mentor and Chipo Muchegwa (mentee).

Brown is mentoring Gumbo and Mpofu is under the tutorship of Duchess.

Dubbed “Amplifying Our Voices and Our Stories to Express Ourselves as People with Disabilities,” the discussion was facilitated by a well-known disability advocate and award-winning communicator Soneni Gwizi.

The “Musicable Project” which was launched by POVOAfrika Trust is an innovative empowerment programme that will support people with disabilities in the music industry in recording their work and accessing markets.

Speaking during the discussion, Chipo said she does not see herself as a disabled person, but as a music artist who is determined to go international.

“I don’t see myself as someone with a disability, but as a hard-working musician. I used to be judged because of my physical appearance.

“I’m enjoying the journey that I am on with my mentor Pauline. She is actually doing a great job mentoring me. I’m happy to be part of Musicable Project. I’m so glad I got considered. So far, we are working on so many activities, like vocal training.

“I’m just happy to be working with her. I appreciate her so much and value everything I’ve learned from her. This is a great opportunity, it’s a dream coming true,” she said.

Pauline said through the mentorship, she has actually benefited in a way.

“I had only been speaking to Chipo over the phone, so when we met and had our first outing, I finally got to see a talented person. Chipo is a really popular person, so after that first performance together (at Mashwede), we have been offered a lot of shows. We have been doing vocal training sessions and mbira lessons and recorded our song together,” Pauline said.

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