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Zambesia conservancy project gets musical boost

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THE Commonwealth Music International (CMI) and Commonwealth Youth Orchestra (CYO) have entered into a new collaboration with the Victoria Falls-based Zambesia Conservation Alliance (ZCA) to use music to support its vital conservation work in the wildlife-rich Zambesia region, with specially composed and performed soundtracks, The NewsHawks has established.

To launch the new collaboration, CMI and CYO has commissioned its composer-in-residence, Simon Haw MBE, a distinguished British composer, to produce music as a main theme to support the ZCA.

This will be boosted by the stunning videography of Shaun McMinn, an African Bush Camps videographer/photographer from Bulawayo.

“Wildlife and photography came to me at a young age. Growing up in Zimbabwe, surrounded by some of the most breath-taking scenery in the work, my affection developed as my eye evolve in photographing the world from an extraordinary perspective,” McMinn says.

“The desire to capture the natural world in all its sublime nuances grew, which led me to the continent of Australia to study filmmaking. Travelling and documenting the world and its intriguing cultures, whether via the media of still or moving images is something that I’m fervently devoted to.”

The Zambesia is a wildlife-rich area of great environmental and economic importance, stretching from the southern shores of Lake Tanganyika in the north to the Limpopo River in the south.

It is within this band from the east coast to west coast that ecosystems thrive and the river systems drain into the great Zambezi River which features one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls.

The region, located in the central-southern part of Africa, stretches coast-to-coast across seven countries from Namibia in the west to Mozambique in the east.

It broadly covers the drainage basin of the Zambezi river. This life-giving water reservoir gives rise to a biogeographically distinct zone called the Zambezian region that houses more than a dozen of the world’s most significant eco-regions.

The Zambesia region specifically includes Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

With scenic beauty, rivers, mountains and amazing topography, the Zambesia offers diverse and exceptional wildlife species: the big five (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard).

But that is not all: hyenas, wild dogs, zebra, hippo, antelope, bucks and many others are also. The flora and fauna is breath-taking.

ZCA – formed in 2020 to bring together effective frontline conservation efforts to combat the loss of natural habitat and its wildlife in the Zambesia region – is working to promote and protect the area for the benefit of the countries involved, their people, tourists, investors and communities.

As the Covid-19 storm was brewing, ZCA was founded close to Victoria Falls, on the banks of the Zambezi River.

Robin, Luke and Suzanne Brown ignited the flame and since then have been overwhelmed with massive support from many corners of the globe.

In the middle of 2020, they were joined by a formidable conservation champion, Nick Holme, a Zimbabwean based in the UK, with an incredible network and passion for wildlife.

Holme heads the ZCA operations and aims to move back to the Zambesia region in the near future. Nicky Connolly joined the team late in 2020 as public relations manager.

She will be working with ZCA outreach partners to produce stories for various audiences.

Simon Hammond, a Zimbabwean banker who is CABS former chief executive, joined the team last November as the liaison link between ZCA and the business sector in the region.

Ever Chinoda will handle legal issues. Besides music, ZCA also uses sport to promote its activities, among other things.

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