Joshua Magaya – Guide by Day, Musician by Night

Jan 16, 2018 People of Wilderness
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It’s true what they say, no one person can be defined by a single talent or interest. This applies to so many people we meet and Joshua is one such person. Guide by day, he’s a musician by night!

Joshua guides our guests at Linkwasha Camp in Hwange National Park and entertains them by night! When you least expect it, Joshua will start playing his mbira while you sit around the fire – beautiful melodies played under a canvas of stars.

We caught up with Joshua to find out more about his guiding and what his music means to him…

What made you want to work in the wildlife field?

I grew up in a village in Mhondoro, north-west of Harare, but when I was four years old my family moved into the city. I used to watch National Geographic videos all the time and developed a passion for wildlife and conservation. My father was advised to enrol me in an institution that offered conservation courses. From there I joined National Parks in 2006. I trained to be a guide and did my Higher National Diploma in Wildlife Management with them.

When did you get your Professional Guide’s Licence?

I got my full licence in 2014.

When did you join Wilderness Safaris?

I joined Wilderness in 2017 and am based at Linkwasha Camp in Hwange National Park.

Tell us about your musical background?

I play the mbira which is a traditional Shona instrument and is used when performing at different cultural ceremonies. Our family is well-known in Mhondoro for playing these instruments. I learned to play when I was five years old, taught by my father. My father is a lecturer in the African Humanities Department at Duke University in the USA and before he left for America we used to visit our rural home where people from all the villages around the area would come to hear the Magaya family play. It would turn into a big social event.

What do you like about guiding?

I love being able to share with my guests the wonder of nature and to show them the importance of conserving our wildlife. We have so much to offer tourists to our country and it is important to me to be able to be part of this industry, with a company that is at the forefront of the conservation field.

Do you enjoy sharing your musical expertise with your guests?

I play my mbira around the fireside at Linkwasha as often as I can as I feel it is a way I can contribute to cultural tourism and share some of my culture with guests from all over the world. I hope the soothing sound of the “African piano” played around a fire under a kaleidoscope of stars brings some harmony to the guests I meet and a sense of how nature and culture can work together.

Each song I play has a story to it and I am always happy to tell everyone, if they are interested, what this story is and how the music unfolds.

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