The award-winning Maru-a-Pula marimba band completed its third United States tour and first to the pacific Northwest in April 2010. The purpose of the tour was to raise funds for the schools orphan scholarship program.
Please visit the school’s Facebook page for photos and video from the tour.
2010 Tour Performances
Overlake School, Redmond, Washington
Rainier Beach High School, Seattle, Washington
Catlin Gabel School, Portland, Oregon
Mhembero Festival, Portland, Oregon
Multnomah Arts Center, Portland, Oregon
Buckman Elementary School, Portland, Oregon
Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Ashland, Oregon
Menlo School, Atherton, CA
Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA
La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA
West Coast Live radio show, Berkeley, CA
The 2008 MAP Marimba band tour was featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and in the Boston Globe. Alport Mhlanga traveled as the distinguished guest of MyLinda King in Portland, OR twice and Professor Ernest Brown of Williams College.
The band released the 17-track studio album Tears of Joy in 2001, Live at the Forum in 2008, and 2010 U.S. Tour in 2010. Tears of Joy won the Botswana Music Award for “Best Instrumental Music” in 2002.
Alport Mhlanga introduced marimbas Maru-a-Pula School in 1988. The wooden, calabash resonator gives the marimba its distinctive sound. The marimba band’s first performance was in March 1988 in Maitisong. They have since performed in Brazil, Canada, the USA, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Among the band’s privileged audience have been: Former Presidents Festus Mogae and Sir Ketumile Masire, President George Bush, and Mpule Kwelagobe, former Miss Universe. They have played at the Grahamstown festival, at a world symposium of scientists in Cape Town, at the 10th anniversary of the South African embassy, at SADC conferences, at community weddings, and at the SOS Children’s Village.
Maru-a-Pula consistently ranks as one of the top schools in all of Africa and regularly sends its students to universities across the US and UK. Many of Botswana’s leaders—ministers, businesswomen, doctors—are graduates of Maru-a-Pula.
Botswana has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world and currently has more than 30,000 AIDS orphans. The school now funds 30 full orphan scholarships and hopes to raise the money to fund 60 full scholarships by 2010.
(includes CBS Evening News, Boston Globe, and other selected media and articles)
Vice President, American Friends Of Maru-a-Pula