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Last update: 2023-03-14
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Sekuru Salha

Kalimba nkulu maker & player

Phone: no phone
Place of residence: Gorongosa, Sofala province

Journey to Gorongosa

In the first days of March 2023, Tatenda Cangola and Sekuru Manejo set out together for Gorongosa, where Manejo had lived for much of his life, to look for the families of his previous teachers and playing partners.

Although double travel expenses would exhaust the budget of our first fundraiser, it seemed worth it: In addition to some Nyonganyonga players, there were prospects of finding a Ntchanje Yatsviru player, as well as the family of Sekuru Bvembe, whose wife and daughters, Manejo reported, all also played Karimba nkulu.

Destroyed bridge on the way from Catandica to Gorongosa
Unfortunately, things turned out differently. It started as a bumpy journey, accompanied by storms and heavy rains, and when they arrived in Gorongosa, they found that almost all the players they hoped to meet had meanwhile either passed away, stopped playing, or lost their instruments.

They only met Sekuru Salha (the son of Manejo's first teacher), and Sekuru Bvembe's very old blind widow. She reported that her daughters - of advanced age themselves - have been living in Tete for a long time, but might still play since they are married to kalimba players.

Sekuru Salha

Sekuru Salha does not remember when he was born. His totem is Chirenje Chakunyamowa. He made his Kalimba as a teenager of about 17 years. It was the first of many instruments he built and many were lost during the war.

Sekuru Salha had broken his arm when Cangola and Manejo arrived at his place. His state of health, increasing hearing loss and other circumstances did not allow a proper interview at that moment. But he said that he still plays kalimba.

Sekuru Salha
Salha's Kalimba nkulu

Local music culture

When asked about other players and instrument makers in the area, Salha gave a number of names. It is unclear who is still alive, with the exception of one player who lives in Minga via Mandei.

Salha's Kalimba nkulu

Here's a key-by-key recording of his instrument:

Kalimba nkulu tuning pt.1

Kalimba nkulu tuning pt.2