February 2, 1943
|Education||University of Zimbabwe|
|Known for||Co-wrote of the song Zimbabwe by Bob Marley|
Gibson Mandishona is a Zimbabwean leading research scientist and mathematician. He is also an accomplished musician and arts manager. He co-wrote the song 'Zimbabwe' with Bob Marley whilst he was still in Ethiopia working as a consultant for the United Nations (UN). Mandishona played his part in development of jazz in the country, having been a patron of the Zimbabwe National Jazz Festival.
Gibson Mandishona was born on 2 February 1943 and grew up in Mbare. At an early age, he played the guitar with Andrew Chakanyuka for Bill Saidi’s group, The Star Gazers in Mbare. Later, he also played for the Gay Gaeties, a group which his sister, Grace Mandishona, was part of. The group was made up of nurses from Harare Central Hospital (now Sally Mugabe Hospital) who got together to challenge male domination of the music industry at the time.
He went to Tegwani High School and Fletcher High School where he formed bands that used to entertain other students during functions. He also attended University College (University of Zimbabwe) for his tertiary education.
He once served as the board chairman of the Harare Institute of Technology in 2013.. In the 1970s he once worked for the United Nations as a statistics and demography consultant. Besides being the chair of Harare Institute of Technology, he was also at the helm of the Centre for Renewable Energy and Environmental Technology, which is involved in advancing green energy.
At an early age, he played the guitar with Andrew Chakanyuka for Bill Saidi’s group, The Star Gazers in Mbare. Later, he also played for the Gay Gaeties, a group which his sister, Grace Mandishona, was part of. At Tegwani and Fletcher high schools he formed bands that used to entertain other students during functions. At University College (University of Zimbabwe), he formed a jazz singing quartet with friends Daniel Matondo, Solomon Nenguwo and Bekithemba Malumo. They were backed by a white jazz pianist, Jeff Cousins.
Later, while in the United Kingdom, he played with various small jazz bands including jam sessions in clubs and pubs with Fred Zindi and Fungai Malianga. When he was working as a United Nations consultant in Ethiopia, he was leader of a 10- piece band made up of officials from different African countries, including Cephas Mangwana (bass) and former finance minister Herbert Murerwa (drums).
After the death of Simangaliso Tutani he established the Zimbabwe National Jazz Festival with Sam Mataure, Penny Yon, Mainos Mudukuti and others. This revived Zimbabwean jazz at the time, as they also groomed a number of young artists including Patience Musa, The Other Four and Afrika Revenge. Later on he edited Joyce-Jenje Makwenda’s seminal book entitled Zimbabwe Township Music, which was a stimulating experience. In 2002 he was part of the team that organised, under the patronage of Robbie Mupawose, Mbuya Mlambo and Pashapa; the National Hunger Concert with Joyce Makwenda, Fungai Malianga, Hilton Mambo and Ray Mawerera. Eventually they raised enough money to donate to various children’s charities spread nationwide.
Assisting other artists
He facilitated for Simangaliso Tutani and Chris Chabuka, some of Zimbabwe’s finest jazz musicians, to study music theory at Berkley College in Boston, in the US. Simangaliso studied in the United States while Chabuka got his diploma from Berkley College through distance education using music materials which he procured for him.
- Munya Simango, , NewsDay, Published: 01 July, 2011, Accessed: 24 April, 2020
- , Harare Institute of Technology, Accessed: 24 April, 2020
- Andrew Moyo, , The Sunday Mail, Published: 16 April, 2017, Accessed: 24 April, 2020
- Munya Simango, , News Day, Published: 12 August, 2011, Accessed: 24 April, 2020