Prisoners sing their hearts out

HARARE - Fr Nigel Johnson SJ and his technical assistant, Plhilani Majama, spent a day recording prison choirs in the Central Prison recently. The original idea was just to record some songs of the Central Choir but after permissions were sought and obtained we arrived to find the authorities had ar

ranged for choirs from Khami (Bulawayo), Wha Wha (Gweru) and Chikurubi Maximum to also be there – a festival of choirs in the prison.
What was striking was the intense attention the prisoners brought to their singing, creating an atmosphere where even the guards respected the silence. This was particularly noticeable when Philani was playing back to himself through his earphones what he had just recorded, to check its quality. During these moments the whole place was gripped by silence. It was awesome. Watch out for the tapes. They will soon be on the market.- Oskar Wermter

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