HIGHER Education minister Amon Murwira has urged local tertiary institutions like Zimbabwe College of Music (ZCM) to develop skills that will anchor the country’s music industry on the global market.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Murwira made the remarks while speaking during the 12th edition of the Africa University-ZCM graduation ceremony on Friday in Harare where 20 students were conferred with Ethnomusicology (nine) and Jazz (11) degrees respectively.
He said the college of music’s curriculum should be based on Zimbabwe’s heritage.
“Heritage refers to our natural resources, our people and our values. Thus, heritage-based education 5.0 presents to us an opportunity for fundamental change, a way to see the world anew in the way our Higher Tertiary Education (HTE) is conducted for the sake of making true the modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“In basing our college of music on heritage, for example, mbira instrument and mbira music are a key part of heritage. The question then is, do we have a complete diploma or certificate on mbira? Do we have a mbira institute in Zimbabwe? This takes us to the opportunities that are brought by the application of heritage-based education 5.0 in the deliberate development of the music value chain in Zimbabwe.”
Murwira said he expected the college to design science and engineering courses that support music and its value chain.
“Music value chain covers the design, science, engineering, production and humanities continuum. In other words, we also expect the college to have production and design studios and workshops. We expect this college to become big and sophisticated, you can do it,” he said.
“According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the global music recording industry grew to US$20 billion in 2019 while streaming formats (including video and audio), generated US$11,4 billion in the same year.”
Murwira said the country’s HTE system should have purpose and benefits to humanity.
“The existence of any Higher and Tertiary Education Institution (HTEI) should, therefore, be premised on the purpose and benefits it provides. The existence of a HTEI must be premised on the goods and services that it provides, it must be based on the industry that it provides,” he said.
In her address, Zimbabwe College of Music executive director Rachael Chigwanda said the year has been unpredictable and unprecedented due to the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very grateful that everyone persevered against all odds until the successful completion of the degrees which in the last stages were conducted online. This was a bold decision for the graduates’ accomplishment of the degrees under uniquely unfavourable conditions,” she said.
“Today 10% of the graduates are female, we always take time to celebrate women in music and their valour to weather the continued marginalisation in the industry. We are grateful that these ambassadors have opened the floodgates of possibilities as we have witnessed an influx of female students enrolling this year.
The ZCM is one of the country’s leading formal music training institutions. It was established in 1948 by a dedicated musician and teacher, Eileen Reynolds.
The institution offers a wide range of courses in collaboration with Africa University, including the National Certificate of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees. The teaching philosophy at the institution is multi-cultural, as the programmes embrace Western classical, Zimbabwean traditional and jazz curricula.
ZCM has produced graduates including Clive “Mono” Mukundu, Charles Charamba and Hope Masike among others.
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