Africa Connected

Moreira's music journey echoes Mozambique hope

Ethnomusicologist and jazz musician Moreira Chonguica says when his music career kicked off, he realised that as an artist he needed to do more to integrate music to society.

In his endeavour to promote education, Moreira has started a campaign to renovate the National School of Music in Maputo, Mozambique.

I consider myself a privileged African musician

Moreira Chonguica, jazz musician and ethnomusicologist

Moreira says when he was growing up as a student at the National School of Music, he never imagined taking up music as a career. But his experience at the school and exposure he received after his time there saw him follow up on his potential to become the celebrated jazz musician he is today.

I think the government at the time was very sensitive to culture, but they had no choice as well. There is country in the world that wasn't liberated because of culture

Moreira Chonguica, jazz musician and ethnomusicologist

Describing to Nikiwe Bikitsha the extent in which the Mozambican government has supported the arts in the country, Moreira says that culture has such an integral role in Mozambique that the government has had to support the arts since the country's independence in 1975.

If you're a human being you can't live without culture. Culture is you

Moreira Chonguica, jazz musician and ethnomusicologist

Moreira says society has evolved since Mozambique's independence in 1975, so government has also had to readjust how it supports the arts.

The government has created the Department of Culture and Tourism, which makes sense because culture and tourism go hand in hand

Moreira Chonguica, jazz musician and ethnomusicologist

Commercialising Mozambique's arts sector requires a long-term plan, according to Moreira.

He says instruction and education are fundamental to long-term efforts to commercialise the arts in Mozambique.

We have to make a 20 year plan, and we're not going to see the results today. But it is our responsibility to educate the younger generations

Moreira Chonguica, jazz musician and ethnomusicologist

Moreira says it is important to start educating the arts to younger generations from kindergarten level, so that when they reach secondary school level, they are able to decide what they want.

He is confident that future generations will continue the evolution of arts in Mozambique and Africa in general.

I think the appetite for African music is huge because we haven't started to tell our story yet, and the world is waiting for our story

Moreira Chonguica, jazz musician and ethnomusicologist

Watch Nikiwe Bikitsha's interview with Moreira Chonguica below:

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