Zimbabwean musician and teacher dies at the age of 27
We are mourning for Takunda Mafika
These days Takunda Mafika is rememberd by many people. Soon after the first sad news on Taku's death had spread among of his friends on early Thursday morning, 12th October 2011, friends gathered on different social media to express their sadness and grief about the loss of their highly valued friend. Among them were members of our network, The Global Experience. On Friday afternoon the announcement on his death on our website had already been replied to by friends of Taku from 30 different nations who did not only share their mourning, but also their positive memories about Taku.
"You were not just a person - you were a great example to follow..." remembers Vita from Ukraine, who had met Taku at the IR youth conference 3 months ago for the first time in her life. Christoph Lammen, manager of the Global Experience Germany, recalls: "I haven't even known Taku for two years, yet he was one of the most impressive people I have met in my life."
It is thoughts like these that express the feelings of friends across the world who all feel to have known Taku for too briefly, and are yet thankful for every moment they spent with him: "I told thanks to God that he gave me the opportunity to be part of your life for a bit", writes Yuliya Vaitkun from Belarus, who had been working with Taku on his video clip "Chikuru Rudo" in Germany last year.
Once Taku wrote in a line of one of his songs "that on the day I die what will you say about me?" We now know that on the day Taku died, his friends said truly beautiful things about him. And that is not because we only say good things about a friend who died, but simply because there is nothing bad that one could have ever said about Taku.
Taku was known as a talented and well known player of the Mbira, an african music instrument, especially famous among the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Taku has been teaching the mbira to individuals, local schools and colleges and has held numerous workshops and performances in Zimbabwe, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Poland and Namibia. With his band he founded, called Tru Bantu, he recorded the album Dzimwe Nguva, that has sold both locally and internationally. He had been working with many well known Zimbabwean artists like Willom Tight, Chiwoniso, Alexio, Mafriq, Sebede, Sam & Selmor Mtukudzi, among others.
Since 2009 Taku has worked as a UNESCO Schools coordinator within the framework of education for sustainable development through which he also got in touch with our Global Experience community. In November 2009 he met teachers and other members of our network at a UNESCOs teachers conference in Berlin, Germany. We invited Taku to join the Global Experience, by that time known as Solar Net International. Soon after Taku joining our network, he started up with a local group of the GE in Zimbabwe.
Music has always been Taku's biggest passion, though he aimed to not only perform music for entertaining, but also to unite and educate young people across the world. Through his music and activities Taku often addressed social issues in Zimbabwe as well as subjects of democracy and freedom. He has been a known advocate for peace and sustainable development for Zimbabwe. As he wrote himself, "coming from a country that has seen little democracy since independence, I use my music to reach out and consientize my society on the need and importance of democracy, peace and freedom of expression."
On 31st October this year, Taku would have turned 28 years old. Zimbabwean media123 and his friends across the globe agree that the world has lost a most dedicated and talented young person far too early.
Our thoughts are with Taku's family and close friends in Zimbabwe.
To learn more about the wonderful person Taku was, and to join in one of the activities we pursue to carry on his ambitious aims, feel welcome to visit the Taku Mafika Forum on our website.