The Kalimba, its African History, and Black Pride – Your “Rough” Guide

This exciting presentation takes you on a quick trip through the kalimba’s history from its beginnings to present day.


“The Kalimba, its African History, and Black Pride” is a quick, enjoyable vignette, almost a snapshot, of all the moving parts of the the kalimba’s story. It will engage you and take you on a lively romp that covers ancient and contemporary music, science, and the annals of human history. It is so much fun that you will hardly know how much you’ve just absorbed.

It tells, in entertaining graphic novel style, about early human ingenuity and the evolution of musical instruments, the sudden changes brought about by European encroachment and colonization and their harsh realities for the people of the invaded countries, and the salvaging of part of a culture from the tidal wave of Christianity, technology, foreign imperialism and economic rapacity. It is also about the eventual rise of the lamellaphone family of instruments in global popularity.

This was a Black history month presentation given by Mark Holdaway in 2012. I found it in the archives while doing editorial research and realized I had uncovered a gem. It has been somewhat refurbished for general reading. Anyone who likes the kalimba would probably enjoy and be edified by it. This presentation puts meat on the bones of the skeletal knowledge most of us have about these amazing little instruments.

Teachers may use it to advantage when talking about a variety of subjects: ancient cultures, the origins of humans at their African source, musical instruments, imperialism and colonization. Musicologists will appreciate it. Students looking deeper into human roots would get a lot from it. Anyone will enjoy this brief overview of a piece of our collective human heritage, especially since it is about something – the kalimba – that makes so many of us happy.

Enjoy the “The Kalimba, its African History, and Black Pride” presentation by clicking the live link below. You will not soon forget it.

Download the pdf now 

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