Playing Matepe

These pages contain tutorials for the complete 18-piece matepe repertoire of Sekuru Chaka Chawasarira.

Most pieces have several parts. Chawasarira calls them variations. They can be played by – sometimes up to six – players in parallel, or one after another.

Each variation can in turn have variants or levels of complexity and embellishment, which we call minor changes (since the term “variation” is already taken).

For each of the 44 parts there is first a video in which Chawasarira teaches the music and its minor changes as if you were sitting next to him.

In a second About… video, he then talks about each piece or variation, its history and ceremonial use, sharing plenty of traditional wisdom and historical knowledge along the way.

The videos are optimised for use on mobile phones. We will soon be adding music transcriptions on that you can play in different tunings and tempos and adapt to your individual learning needs.

If you like this work, here are simple ways to contribute:

Although the videos contain all the information, we would like to put summaries as text on the pages, too, so that you can search for keywords.

Furthermore, many videos further down on the list do not yet have chapters, like they do on the Kuvachenjedza page.

You can support us in a very simple and extremely helpful way: While watching an About… video, just take notes about the content and [better, missing] chapter titles. We have marked some which are missing titles altogether.

You can either send us your notes or get permission to edit the pages yourself. Please get in touch!

Getting started

If you don’t feel like building a matepe yourself, you can commission one from Sekuru Chawasarira (WhatsApp +263 77 858 4527) or James Kamwaza (WhatsApp +263 77 680 3373). Here is a list of other mbira makers who have also made matepe (page somewhat outdated).

Chawasarira recommends that students first learn the basic part of Kuvachenjedza (that he introduces gradually) and then select additional variations or other pieces as they wish.

For some variations he provides simplified versions that might serve as starting points for beginners.


  1. Kuvachenjedza (6+2 parts)
    • Other names: Rekai kuvachenjedza kuchadoka, Muchenjedza Mutonga, Kuvachenjedza waTonga
  2. Drumming & clapping
  3. Marume azere dare (5 parts)
    • Other names: Marume ashora mambo, Washora mambo
  4. Kanotamba mubani (3 parts)
    • Other names: Siti
  5. Musumbu woderere (2 parts)
  6. Kari mugomba (2 parts)
    • An adaptation of a nhare piece of the same name
  7. Pasi panodya (3 parts)
    • Other names: Kadya Hove
  8. Musengu (2 parts)
    • Other spellings: Msengu
    • Shares variations with Pasi panodya
  9. Nzou kudya mushonga (1 part)
  10. Wako ndiwako (4 parts)
    • Other names: Mwana waMambo haanodaro, Tongore
  11. Hurombo (2 parts)
  12. Mauya mauya (2 parts)
  13. Nyatsoka Mhondoro (1 part)
  14. Chokwa Marembe (2 parts)
  15. Hasa mukoma akasiya mwana (2 parts)
  16. Ndonda (1 part)
    • Other names: Ndonda Chawane Mauyo, Nzou Inodya Mushonga
  17. Muparaganda (1 part)
  18. Vadzimu woye (2 parts)
    • Adaptation of a nhare piece
  19. Tsikidzi (2 parts)