Ngqwele Dube, Sunday Life Correspondent
ACCLAIMED percussionist Lewis Ndlovu has completed writing a children’s book he hopes will arouse interest in drumming from a tender age.
Ndlovu is now on the hunt for a publisher and plans to have the book distributed in schools at the beginning of next year. The drummer said the book is focused on teaching children about drums, their relevance in the African society and role in music. He said more importantly the book teaches children how to drum.
“I want to spread the gospel of drumming to all parts of Zimbabwe and beyond and I think a book targeting primary school pupils can assist in arousing interest in the instrument. The book is in story-form and now a how-to book. It narrates the story of a young boy who is given a drum as a birthday present, his mother does not like the drum but the father approves. That conflict leads to questions being answered and then drumming lessons,” said Ndlovu.
He said he used the recently ended European tour of the play, Lamentations to engage some publishers although he has not yet concluded any agreements. Ndlovu revealed he was now engaging a proofreader and editor to assist him complete the initial process.
The Ulemu Arts founder and director is not new to writing as he has come up with several plays like Nyembezi and Nyamazana Zonke while he also collaborated with Umkhathi on the musical, Drums and teamed up with Iyasa to create, Who is Wise.
Ndlovu plays the background percussion for the play that was showcased in England (London, Kent, Portsmouth and Leicester), Edinburgh Festival fringe (Scotland) and the Netherlands. Lamentations is a Rooftop Promotions production written by Getrude Munhamo and directed by Daves Guzha. It features Munhamo and Dalma Chivereva.
Ndlovu said his dream of building Ubuntu Cultural Village was bearing fruit as he met several prospective benefactors during the tour who expressed their willingness to assist him build the centre which he has earmarked for Makokoba.
“The vision is that we build a centre, just next to Thabiso, which will provide us with a venue for drumming lessons and sessions, we could also provide a place for women basket weavers among other artists. It would provide me with an ideal venue to make drums and drum-making lessons.
“I usually hold township tours and the centre could be the last stop for the tourists, providing an array of African artefacts they can view and buy. Some have already committed funds for the project and hope it kicks off early next year,” he said.
Ndlovu regularly holds full moon drumming sessions and also makes different types of drums that include the djembe.