Filmed and edited by Robin Truesdale
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 blossom” 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 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. The concept of gender equality, sadly, is not the norm in many rural parts of Africa. 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. I was awarded a National Geographic seed grant, I hired a 5-person crew of Zimbabwean students, 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.