Natural Resources

Kundayi Musinami came to the U.S. with nothing, and look at him now--a graduate from the Berklee College of Music. His advice? "To be resourceful is far more essential than having resources at your disposal. Such resourcefulness is awakened by a deep understanding of one's vision and vocation in life. Don't hope for manna to fall from heaven, but rather for a good relationship with the baker who hopefully will NOT give you free bread but teach you how to shake and bake."

Lesson Learned

Berklee College of Music graduate Kundayi Musinami knows how great an impact teachers can have on students with a story like his. "Teachers ought to take their duty as a vocation as opposed to merely treating it as a profession. As a teacher you play an intergeral role in the shaping of destiny. With that in mind, a teacher's approach should be with a mental respect of the big picture. Students come into class with all manner of baggage, an extention of the adversities that life presents." 

Fund-less Raising

Just because you don't have the bucks, students, doesn't mean you can't contribute to your favorite charity. Berklee College of Music graduate Kundayi Musinami believes that "all good fund-raising begins with a good story. Don't undermine the importance and depth of your story. Couple your story with a good cause and an out-of-the-box fund-raising concept and you're on your way. I have always told myself people don't commit to people but rather they commit to a good cause."

Inspiring Notes

"I love me some good Gospel Music: Bobby Perry & Rain, Rashad Mcpherson & Divine Purpose, Ayana Mcdonald, E2VG," Berklee College of Music graduate Kundayi Musinami shares. "These young groups carry on the rich tradition of spiritual music that has always sustained all folk through adversity and this music has been the soundtrack for dream chasers like myself that rely on the favor of faith to carry them through storms and over mountains."

Buy the Beats

When shopping for music, Berklee College of Music graduate Kundayi Musinami hits up an old fav, Newbury Comics. "That's my spot because it's more than a record store, it's a pop culture marketplace--and who doesn't love a good dose of pop culture in these rather unpopular times?"

The Power of Personality

When Kundayi Musinami stepped off an airplane and into the international terminal of Logan Airport, he didn't know a soul. He had just taken a 24-hour flight from his homeland of Zimbabwe, where he left behind his parents, three sisters, one brother, and the graveyard where his older brother, Gerald, was buried after being allegedly murdered by political terrorists. 

Kundayi had taken a chance. It took him three years to earn the $75 fee to apply to the Berklee College of Music, which accepted him. But when he landed in Boston, he had nothing more than a spot at Berklee waiting: he had no friends, no place to live, and no clue how he would pay his tuition. In his pocket, he had all his money in the world: twelve bucks. 


Yet he wasn’t worried. Kundayi was a young man of strong faith (his Zimbabwe pastor had raised the money for his airfare to Boston) and conviction. God would show him the way. When he spotted a woman and man outside of the baggage claim holding a sign with the word “pastor” written on it, Kundayi smiled. 


“Hi, my name is Kundayi. I just came from Zimbabwe. I am here to attend the Berklee college of Music. I have no place to stay.”


The two people with the sign were Alisha Fisher and Aaron Thomas, parishioners at the Bethel Tabernacle in the South End. Kundayi would live with Alisha and her family for a year. And within a week, Kundayi persuaded the staff of Berklee to grant him a full scholarship. People who met him were struck by Kundayi’s charm. But Kundayi believe God was showing him the way.


One day, Kundayi met Dr. Cornell West, the world-renowned intellectual devoted to racial justice, who had been invited by Berklee to be a keynote speaker at the college for Black History Month.  Kundayi was broadsided by the Princeton Professor’s charisma and vision. “I am a bluesman in the life of the mind,” Dr. West told the students. “I’m a jazzman in the world of ideas.” Though Kundayi had planned on a career in music production, he changed his mind after crossing paths with his soon-to-be role model. Music is a universal communicator, Kundayi realized, but politics can effect greater change. 


Kundayi now has his sights set on serving for the Ministry of Education back in Zimbabwe. Before that, he plans to earn his PhD at Harvard in African Studies. Once again, he does not know how we will pay for tuition, but he is not worried. Neither are we. 

 

KMusinami@gmail.com

 

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