The Liyana Band
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See documentary on Liyana on Youtube

The band has undertaken many public performances at schools, festivals, celebrations and at two Bulawayo arts festivals.  One of the singers has also been out of the country to perform.  Prudence the lead singer spent 3 months in Switzerland singing with the Hora Theatre in Zurich.  Her voice has an incredible range and has been likened to the famous South African singer, Miriam Makeba. 
It is not often that one sees or hears about a band of physically disabled musicians.  Despite their various physical disabilities, they are a professional group of musicians who are able to keep an audience enthralled and usually up on their feet dancing.  Their stage performance is energetic, dynamic, professional and fun.  Their own enjoyment and enthusiasm is immediately transferred to any audience. As soon as the first notes are played the audience breathes a sigh of amazement and begins to join in the fun – foot tapping, clapping, whistling and even standing up and dancing.  The music is irresistible.

In April 2006 the band entered and won second prize in the Music Crossroads inter regional festival in Mozambique. The prize was a tour of Sweden and in September and October 2006 the band spent 3 weeks in Sweden and then extended their tour to the Netherlands and Belgium.  During the tour they had people up and dancing at the 30 or more shows.  Each member brings something unique to the band but the whole performance is perfected by the lead singer, Prudence, whose voice never ceases to amaze.  She writes her own songs, specialising in the use of the Ndebele clicks, however she can now sing in 7 other languages! 

In 2006 Liyana appeared in 4 very popular public performances in Bulawayo.  They are also available for hire for public and private events.  So far they have performed for several Ministry of Education events, some weddings, a rural development workshop, the Bulawayo Blood Transfusion and the local polytech college graduation ceremonies and for social gatherings of HIV positive youngsters.  In December 2006 they performed at the Celebration Centre in Harare with local celebrity Tia.

The band started 2007 with a music workshop.  One of the challenges they were given was to divide into randomly selected pairs and produce a new song.  Their skills are amazing as in little over an hour they had produced four excellent songs.  The subjects varied from gospel to reggae to traditional Shona music.  These songs have now been perfected and added to the band’s repertoire.  In July 2007 they undertook to put together a show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the KGVI Centre.  This show was put on at the Bulawayo Theatre and among other entertainment Liyana played their own songs, concluding with a new song Never Give Up which was written especially for the occasion.

In July 2007 a music dvd of the band’s most popular song was filmed and should be released in September.  The song is Umntwana weQhawe (Son of a Hero) and is full of the Ndebele click so much relished by the lead singer, Prudence.  A further music dvd is planned with Unicef for the song Children are Special which is written in English, Shona and Ndebele and is about child rights.
Dreams for the band are to make another international tour.  There is the possibility of them appearing at a local restaurant venue in Johannesburg and the big wish is to tour America!

July 2007