Music by Prudence

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Music by Prudence
Music by Prudence.jpg
Directed byRoger Ross Williams
Produced byRoger Ross Williams
Elinor Burkett
Patrick Wright (co-producer)
StarringPrudence Mabhena
Tapiwa Nyengera
Energy Maburutse
Honest Mupatse
Marvelous Mbulo
Vusani Vuma
Goodwell Nzou
Farai Mabhande
Music byMusic Producer/additional composition Ted Mason
CinematographyDerek Wiesehahn (director of cinematography)
Errol Webber
Osato Dixon
Edited byGeeta Gandbhir (editor)
Patrick Wright (associate editor)
iThemba Productions
Distributed byHBO
Release date
  • April 2010 (2010-04)
Running time
33 minutes
CountryUnited States
Zimbabwe [1]

Music by Prudence is a 2010 short documentary film directed by Roger Ross Williams. It tells the uplifting story of the then 24-year-old Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena, and follows her remarkable transcendence from a world of hatred and superstition into one of music, love, and possibilities.

Music by Prudence won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 82nd Academy Awards. The film premiered on HBO on May 12, 2010.


Music by Prudence tells a self-empowering story of one young woman's struggle who, together with her band, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds and, in her own voice, conveys to the world that "disability does not mean inability."

Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena was born severely disabled. The society she was born into considers disabilities to carry the taint of witchcraft.[2] Because of this, many disabled children are abandoned. But Prudence and the seven young members of the band she has formed called Liyana, all disabled, have managed to overcome stereotypes and inspire the same people that once saw them as a curse.

The main subjects of Music by Prudence, and members of the band "Liyana", are:


On 7 March 2010, Music by Prudence won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). [3] on YouTube

Music by Prudence also won:

  • the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short at the Florida Film Festival
  • Best Short at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival
  • Best Short at the DocuWest Film Festival.

See also[edit]

  • iThemba, another documentary film about Liyana


  1. ^ Trailer on YouTube
  2. ^ "Oscar nomination for 'Music by Prudence' about disabled Zimbabwean singer Prudence Mabhena". San Francisco BayView. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  3. ^ Short Film Winners: 2010 Oscars

External links[edit]