23 February 1986 |
Prudence Mabhena is an award-winning Zimbabwean singer. Prudence Mabhena was born with Arthrogryposis, and was severely disabled. The society she was born into considers disabilities to carry the taint of witchcraft. Because of this, she abandoned by her family. As a result she was raised by her maternal grandmother who sang to her while working on her farm. She later attended King George VI School for the disabled in Harare.
While at school she discovered a love for music and performing, and founded the band Liyana with seven other disabled students and was made up of:
- Prudence Mabhena - singer and composer (suffers from arthrogryposis)
- Tapiwa Nyengera - back-up singer, keyboard, front man (has spina bifida)
- Energy Maburutse - first marimba player, back-up vocalist (suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, brittle bone syndrome)
- Honest Mupatse - tenor marimba player (has hemophilia)
- Marvelous Mbulo - back-up singer (has muscular dystrophy)
- Vusani Vuma - bass marimba player (is hearing-impaired)
- Goodwell Nzou - traditional drums and percussion, back-up singer (leg amputated)
- Farai Mabhande - lead keyboardist (suffers from arthrogryposis)
The band tried to overcome stereotypes and inspire the same people that once saw them as a curse. Her story was later turned into the film Music by Prudence, which went on to the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 82nd Academy Awards.
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.
- "Oscar nomination for 'Music by Prudence' about disabled Zimbabwean singer Prudence Mabhena". San Francisco BayView. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- "Prudence Mabhena: Out Of Struggle, A Soaring Voice". May 11, 2010.
- Mazara, Garikai. "The Oscar that Prudence Mabhena never won".
- "Oscar-winning Prudence Mabhena appointed ambassador for SA's Casual Day".