Chimanimani is a town on Zimbabwe’s eastern edge, below the ridge of mountains that separates the country from Mozambique. Hector Rufaro Mugani is native to this region and describes himself as a countryman.
Hector is one of many from the villages who left home to try and make a living in the capital, Harare. However, COVID-19, together with Zimbabwe’s economic collapse and the political impasse in recent years, forced him back to his roots. After dropping out as a student of agronomy and working part-time as a drummer in various small-time bands, he is back home on the farm. Now, Hector is exploring a life that combines his passions – farming and music.
He has cleared a field and planted macadamia nut trees while he works with a handful of mbira players and some Zimbabwean dance hall bands and scours the region for new acts he can promote in Harare. We follow Hector as he travels the region searching for new musical talent while also working on his personal backroom project to develop the first electric mbira, which he hopes will breathe new life into Zimbabwean traditional music.