I am thrilled to announce that Lion Songs shares the Society for Ethnomusicology Kwabena. Nketia Book Prize for 2016 with Mhoze Chikowero's African Music, Power, and Being in Colonial Zimbabwe (2015 Indiana University Press). The prizes were announced by ethnomusicologist Jean Kidula at the annual SEM meeting in Washington DC on November 11.
The announcement noted that both books are "compelling historical works on the working of music in Zimbabwe's contemporary national and social politics." Regarding Lion Songs in particular, Kidula said, "We didn't want to put the book down. It felt like a novel.... Banning's writing is engaging and poetic, carefully utilizing storytelling, biographies, and detailed descriptions as well as analyses of sonic and extrasonic elements."
Extrasonic indeed! Interesting that Mhoze is a historian and I am a writer, but we seem to have written the panel's favorite ethnomusicology works of the year. I should note that Mhoze is a friend, and we worked together on an Afropop Worldwide program on Thomas Mapfumo during the Mugabe Years. It's an honor to share this prize with him. And thanks to SEM and the panel for their vote of confidence.
Hoping they will now buy the book and CD, from this website!