Nobuntu presents a woman's perspective through African music

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October 11, 2018

By Connor Kockler '22



Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity and family from a woman’s perspective.

The quintet of performers that takes its name from this traditional ideal brings it to life through their powerful and moving music.

Nobuntu will bring that energy to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater on the Saint John’s University campus as part of the Fine Arts Series at SJU and the College of Saint Benedict.

Hailing from Zimbabwe, Nobuntu is an a cappella group made up of five talented performers: Zanele Mahenga, Thandeka Moyo, Duduzile Sibanda, Heather Dube and Joyline Sibanda. The group was founded in 2011, with the goal of transcending boundaries and inspiring with a message of empowerment and unity.

Using their rich, pure voices, combined with percussion and traditional dance movements and instruments, Nobuntu fuses traditional Zimbabwean music, Afro jazz and gospel to create a soulful and inspiring harmonic experience.

“Colorfully costumed and performing a cappella with occasional subtle rhythmic drumming accompaniment, their perfectly blended voices harmonized to provide an uplifting and moving performance,” wrote Edward Alley in the Sarasota (Florida) Observer.

Touring across Africa and Europe, Nobuntu has earned recognition and success along the way. The group have performed at venues such as churches, concert halls, theatres and festivals. They were also nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in 2015.

Following the release of their second album “EKHAYA”, they took their first trip through North America, bringing their talents to a new audience.

Celebrating the culture and experience of being an African woman, the performers channel emotion, from elated to tragic, into every song. Their music reminds us all of our shared human bonds and experience.

Nobuntu will continue to share its message of unity through outreach activities for several days in the St. Cloud community, including demonstrations for youth and seniors.

Tickets are $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and $20 for CSB/SJU faculty and staff. Youth and students (with ID) get in for $15, and CSB/SJU student tickets are $10.

For tickets, call the Benedicta Arts Center Box Office at 320-363-5777 or order online.

This performance is sponsored in part by CentraCare Health.

The activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Nobuntu is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Crane Group.