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Keep the Timbila Playing

Documentary, 2001, 82 min.

The mighty timbila, a large African xylophone, was almost only played on in the Mozambican province of Chopiland until 1991, when a percussion group from The Hague brought the legendary Mozambican musician, composer, poet and leader of timbila orchestras Venancio Mbande to the Netherlands. Mbande stayed in The Hague for three months and when he departed, he left behind the only timbila orchestra outside Africa. In August 1999, this Percussion Group The Hague travelled to Mbande in Mozambique and played with him at the annual Msaho timbila festival. At least as impressive as the images of this festival and the rhythm of the timbila is the life story of Mbande, who worked in the gold and platinum mines of South Africa for nearly fifty years. At the time of the civil war in Mozambique in the eighties, Mbande and his mine orchestra kept the timbila tradition from an untimely death.





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