Artist Spotlight: Mangoma

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Photographed by Mgcini Nyoni

Othnell “Mangoma” Moyo is a Zimbabwean dancer, actor, musician and ethnomusicologist. Mangoma is known for making most of the instruments he uses. Having recorded two albums under the name Music According to Percussion (MAP), Mangoma has securely positioned himself as a leading force in the celebration and evolution of indigenous music in Zimbabwe and around the world.

Hailing from the Nguboyenja Township of Makokoba in Bulawayo and learning marimba and ngoma from his brother Osward and sister Rea, Mangoma pursued his passion and curiosity for music through his elders and his peers. His development into a skilled and highly-valued artist led him to perform and record with many Zimbabwean and international artists. He has now represented Zimbabwe in more than 30 countries, in over 400 venues and international festivals. He has participated in a number of international musical collaborations with artists from Norway, Austria, Sweden, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, France, India, Indonesia, to name a few.

In 2016 he was selected for the OneBeat (USA) programme, where he collaborated with artists from 17 countries, enriching his relationship with music by exposure to wider sonic cultures. When he is not performing, Mangoma teaches music and dance to prisoners at Harare Central Prison under Miracle Missions and directs Talent Explorer in Nguboyenja (TEN), an arts, sports and business event held annually in Nguboyenja, Bulawayo.  In addition to this, the multi-talented musician holds annual Zimbabwe Drummers Camp where he teaches rhythms, traditional songs and dances from his culture for free, as a way of preserving Bantu heritage. He has penned downed Zimbabwe traditional Rhythms and songs in his book called Zimbabwean Ngoma/iNgungu Rhythms and Songs Book which he shared what he has learned in the living tradition of Bulawayo Township Rhythms (ISBN 978-0-7974-9249-3)

Are you as impressed by Mangoma’s artistry as we are? Join us next week (30 November) at the Zimbabwe German Society where we are hosting him and other artists at the Afroplaylist Intercultural Encounters Event!

To book or contact Mangoma: phone +263774096269 or email

Find Mangoma on FacebookInstagram @othnell, Twitter @OthnellMoyo,  Sound Cloud, and YouTube.

Read more on his Music in Africa profile.

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