Bruce Ncube is a Zimbabwean creative director currently based in the United Kingdom. He is a Theatre for Development practitioner at Mema Arts. He runs the Africa Day in Njube Festival in Zimbabwe.
He is a theatre artist that seeks to preserve his Zimbabwean traditional culture through teaching songs, dances, stories and rhythms to different audiences in the United Kingdom and back in his native Zimbabwe. He is a Zimbabwean artist who specialises in teaching traditional songs from Zimbabwe in 3 to 6 part harmonies. He has over 12 years experience of touring across the UK and other Southern African countries teaching and performing in educational institutions, working with people from all walks of life, ages and abilities, sharing the rich African culture through Songs, Rhythms, Dances and Stories. He is an experienced singer, singing teacher, music coach, percussionist, mbira player, dancer/dance teacher.
Bruce attended Njube High School for his secondary education.
Bruce is still very much involved with Umkhathi Theatre Works the group where he began his arts career at a tender age of 10. Bruce Ncube has traveled extensively to the United Kingdom over the past 10 years conducting and facilitating singing, dance, drama and drumming workshops in schools, colleges, universities, singing groups, dance groups and choirs. He also performed in festivals locally and international, namely African Drum Village, Harare International Festival of the Arts, Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Drum Camp, Unicorn Voice Camp, Big Tent and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, AfriFest.
Ncube has collaborated with a number of musicians that include Ramadu who is based in Austria, Nkwali Music, featured in Nobuntu’s video ‘‘Narini’’ as part of Umkhathi and also performed with Jeys Marabini.
Performer at Umkhathi Theatre Works
- Director - Organising and facilitating workshops (Sept 2013 to Present)
- Theatre for Development Practitioner - Facilitation of workshops in drama, dance, drumming and singing (Sept 2013 to Present)
- Director/Founder - Directing (2013 to Present)
Artist at Drums of Peace responsible for running drumming workshops (April 2010 to Present)
Artist for Umkhathi Theatre Works as an entertainer (Jan 2002 to Present)
Bulawayo to Glasgow Collaboration
Bulawayo to Glasgow was a collaboration between Many Studios and Mema Arts (Zimbabwe) addressing intangible culture in Southern Africa, using workshops, performance and play to discuss globalisation and the West's influence over the global South.
Mema Arts spent 2 weeks in Zimbabwe working with 24 young people teaching them different arts, mbira making etc in a one off event funded by the British Council and working alongside Many Studios in Glasgow in 2017. When he came back he reflected on how he would develop Mema Arts back in Zimbabwe and give back to his community. He wanted to give an opportunity to young people interested in the arts to be able to develop their skills and go on to perform their chosen talents in events around Zimbabwe, across Africa and even internationally.
To do this he thought the key is building a foundation back in his community with materials and equipment for the young people to use, artists to teach with and young acts to perform with. Doing this project back home has gave him the clear vision of what he wants Mema Arts to be and his primary goal was to raise enough funds to buy equipment to see this become a reality. The funds he was to raise were to provide:
- a set of Marimba (xylophone)
- 2 sets of congas
- 30 Mbiras (nyunga nyunga)
- a small PA system
This was to allow young people to learn, practice, perform, and anybody from his community in Bulawayo would be able to access this equipment. This initiative raised £820 to help Mema Arts to fund the equipment purchase for the Njube community in Bulawayo.