This unusual oil can guitar from the township culture of South Africa is about as low-tech as you can get, but it’s raising funds to support young musicians at the Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Zimbabwe, set up by Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi – one of the country’s top performing artists.
Andy Sylvester of Leamington offers guitarists of all ages, styles and ability to play it in return for a donation, and so far it’s been given a workout by Seasick Steve, punk-era icon John Otway and of course onstage by ‘Tuku’ himself during the closing gig of the African Soul Rebels tour at Warwick Arts Centre in March.
Andy, a former creative director of a Midlands agency and now a freelance writer, was also joined by Coventry songwriter Rob Halligan to demonstrate it on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire’s Annie Othen morning show – listen here.
“It’s not unique, but pretty unusual in the UK, and I’ve been encouraged by the interest and support for the idea” he said. “It’s not just about big name players. I take it to open mic jam nights, and local bands like The Treehorns and Noke have got involved too. The whole point of this is to make it as accessible as I can, in what spare time I have, and of course raise funds to help the kids in Zim, where every pound is welcome in an economy that’s far more shot than ours. It’s just one guitar, but who knows who’ll get their hands on it next.”
You can contact Andy on firstname.lastname@example.org or text him on 07799 7738 482