It was only a few years ago that Liyana was born - as a class project. Even with the challenge of working in teams, in barely an hour, Liyana had produced four great tunes.
"Of all my dreams, singing with Beyoncé and coming to America to sing have been the most important to me. We are so lucky to come to America, and maybe one day I will be able to have both of these things come true!"
- Prudence Mabhena
From the start they had a special knack for communicating musically through various subjects and musical styles, including gospel, reggae, and traditional Shona music.
These days, the band is fronted by Prudence Mabhena, a dynamic lead singer with a unique ability to communicate with audiences from all walks of life. Other members specialize in marimbas, African drums, shakers, keyboard, and piano. With lyrics in five different languages, Liyana's 'Afro-fusion' music is reflective of our interconnected world, where many find that our connections are greater than our divisions.
In 2006, LIYANA won the Crossroads Africa Inter-regional Music Festival in Mozambique and went on to tour Sweden, The Netherlands, and Belgium. In July, 2007 as featured performers at the Bulawayo Theatre, Liyana concluded with a new song Never Give Up, a title that is especially mzeaningful because it is the mantra learned at KGVI School that inspires them to this day.
Liyana draws upon the talents of eight musicians, all born and raised in Zimbabwe. Liyana is the subject of a new documentary, Music by Prudence which is Directed by Roger Ross Williams and received an Oscar in March, 2010.
|Unyawo - 2.4mb
| Nsikhalai Africa - 2.75mb
Prudence Mabhena is Liyana's lead singer. She also composes in a wide range of styles and many topics. While challenges with Arthrogryphosis have placed her in a wheel chair, she is an independent, assertive woman, whose voice has been likened to the great South African liberation singer, Miriam Makeba.
Tapiwa Nyengera sings back-up, plays keyboard, and is the front man. He is a passionate and eloquent voice for the contribution the disabled can make to Africa and the world. He has spina bifida.
Energy Maburutse is first marimba player and back-up vocalist and the band¹s resident jokester. He has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, brittle bone syndrome.
Honest Mupatse plays tenor marimba. He has hemophilia.
Marvelous Mbulo is a back-up singer and has muscular dystrophy.
Vusani Vuma, the bass marimba player, is hearing-impaired and has spent much of his life in silence.
Goodwell Nzou, plays traditional drums and percussion and sings back-up. A snake bit him when he was 11, requiring amputation of his leg.
Farai Mabhande, lead keyboardist, is an orphan from Bulawayo, who suffers from arthogryphisis.