Filmed and edited by Robin Truesdale
Soundtrack by Zivanai Masango
Narrated by Helen Masango


Tumbuka Title_Flower


In a rural village of Zimbabwe, a young man tries to help his community overcome poverty, AIDS, and the traditional gender roles that hinder his people. His approach – a club for boys that teaches young men to respect their female counterparts. Tatenda Muchiriri hopes to help raise a generation of young men who practice safe sex and treat women as equals. Tumbuka means “to bloom” in the Shona language. Documentary, filmed in rural Zimbabwe with local crew. 20 min.

Supported by National Geographic All-Roads
Original music by Zivanai Masango

Tumbuka “Bloom” from Robin Truesdale on Vimeo.


“Tumbuka is just a rare jewel, a beauty one can’t resist.”
– Fredreck Muchiriri

“You’ve made a very hopeful and important film. Tumbuka is a heart melting experience.  I love what you’ve done both with the camera and your brilliant editing.”

– Kitty Farmer, Watersong Productions

“A deep rooted way of male/female relationships is hard to change, but it begins with what is presented in your film.”
– Len Barron


The back story…

On a trip to Zimbabwe in 2006, I met a young man named Tatenda Muchiriri who impressed me with his enthusiasm and passion for a project he was working on in his rural community of Mhondoro. He was organizing a group of boys for weekly meetings to educate them about the dangers of AIDS, and also to teach them to respect their female counterparts. I was so impressed with Tatenda’s goals and strength of purpose that I began planning a trip back to Zimbabwe in 2007 to film his work for a documentary. The project was awarded a National Geographic seed grant, Tatenda assisted me with hiring a 5-person crew of students from the University of Zimbabwe, and we spent three weeks filming for this short, but sweet documentary.

Tumbuka Bloom has screened at festivals and conferences in the U.S., Kenya and China.

Robin Truesdale

  • Louisville, Colorado

“Leap and the net will appear.”