born: 3/24/1958 Harare (Salisbury)
Jenje Makwenda is a 2017 ZCCD research residence who will focus on cultural connections between Detroit Motown music and Zimbabwe Township Jazz. She will be also researching in particularly spaces of social organisation and resistance, such as the social clubs that proliferated Detroit in areas such as Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, in comparison to her previous research on the shebeens in Mbare, Harare and Makokoba, Bulawayo.
An Archivist, Historian, Researcher, Author, Journalist, Producer, Lecturer and Ethnomusicologist. – 30 years of working experience in history and journalism covering areas of early urban culture, music, politics, education, religion, media, fashion, sexual (taboo) and cultural issues and women’s histories in Zimbabwe. A renowned writer who has written a number of books and novels that includes, Zimbabwe Township Music (2005), Gupuro, Women Musicians of Zimbabwe 1930’s-2013-A Struggle for Voice and Artistic Expression (2013). She worked with the BBC to compile a radio program on Township Jazz of the 50’s-1992 (1992); produced a 13 week Radio Program for ZBC on Early Musicians (Shona & Ndebele) 1992 – Researched, Compiled and presented radio programs on Township Music 1930s–1960s. Conducted research and presented radio programmes on Social History, for the Audio Visual Services, for the Ministry of Education and Culture in 1994.
Her documentary films include “Zimbabwe Township Music” (1992), “A Christmas to Remember- With Early Township Dwellers” (1994); Omasiganda–African Troubadours-One man band guitarists (1995); The Epworth Theatrical Strutters – Musical Group from the 1940s. (1997); The Bantu Actors/Mattaka Family (A Family Musical Group which goes back to the 30’s)–(1998); -Pre-Election Violence and its after Effects on Women and Children–2000 and Development Through Radio (DTR)/ Rural Radio Listening Clubs Project-How this is helping in Women’s Development: 2001.
Jenje Makwenda was a lecturer at the Zimbabwe College of Music for 15 years and she helped design the curricular on “The History of Popular Music and Jazz” for the Zimbabwe College of Music, Ethnomusicology Department and established in Zimbabwe, one of the biggest private social history collection/archive at her house that consists of interviews on music, on audio and video, press write-ups, photos, LP’s and musical artifacts.