Njelele Art Station

Joyce Jenje-Makwenda
15.06.17 - 04.07.17

Joyce Jenje-Makwenda is on residency at ZCCD in collaboration with Njelele from 15 June to 4 July 2017.  (Photo: Sam Mhirizhonga)
Joyce Jenje-Makwenda on residency at ZCCD in collaboration with Njelele from 15 June to 4 July 2017.  (Photo: Sam Mhirizhonga)

Joyce Jenje-Makwenda is a journalist, producer and performing artist. She is an independent scholar, archivist, historian, researcher, author, lecturer and ethnomusicologist with more than thirty years of experience covering areas of early urban culture, music, politics, education, religion, media, fashion, sex, sexuality, cultural issues and women’s histories in Zimbabwe.

As a writer, Jenje-Makwenda authored a number of books and novels, including Zimbabwe Township Music (2005), Gupuro (2006) in Shona and English, USenzeni (2007) in Ndebele Zulu, both books on women’s issues and the girl child respectively. In 2013 she published Women Musicians of Zimbabwe 1930’s to 2013: A Struggle for Voice and Artistic Expression, and in 2015 she released sequels: Women in Film in Zimbabwe: Modern Storytellers, Women Writers and Poets in Zimbabwe: The power of the written and spoken word and Zimbabwean Women in Theatre, Drama and Comedy: An Artistic Way of Communicating. She has produced and directed several documentaries on music.

She established the Joyce Jenje-Makwenda Collection Archives, a private social history archive located at her house in Harare, hosting materials such as video and audio interviews on music, transcriptions, press cuttings, photographs, vinyl LPs and artifacts, including instruments, gramophones and typewriters that can be accessed for scholarly and historical purposes.


Joyce Jenje-Makwenda is on research residency at ZCCD (Zimbabwe Cultural Centre of Detroit) to research cultural connections between Detroit and cities in Zimbabwe, focusing on the role of Motown music in early urban culture.

Motown in Zimbabwe A conversation between two musicologists, Joyce Jenje-Makwenda and Marsha Music in Detroit. (Video: ZCCD | Benjamin Gaydos & Julia Yezbick)


Motown in Zimbabwe
Joyce Jenje-Makwenda with Dr. Melvin Peters
Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series | University of Michigan

Motown in Zimbabwe A conversation with Joyce Jenje-Makwenda and Dr. Melvin Peters (Video: UM Stamps)

The residency exchange is in collaboration with ZCCD supported by the Knights Foundation, Resonant Detroit Grant, and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan through the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series.


Lineo Segoete, Joshua Chiundiza and Wanlov the Kubolor on Love on a visa, for the podcast Concepts of Love.