Bitter Grounds Magazine

stamps, espresso & conversation

Zimbabwe 2021 stamps & a little music

Written by catpaw

June 18, 2021

Time to look at Zimbabwe 2021 stamps and do I have a treat for you today! They feature musical instruments and, let’s just say I whiled away an afternoon listening to Zimbabwean musicians. Great fun was had. But I’m not going to post a video of me dancing around my apartment. I don’t think any of you could handle the visuals. 

This time out was one of those great stamp collecting moments when I got to learn a something and expand my musical tastes. These opportunities don’t happen as often as they should. One of the stamp sets for 2021 features two musical instruments from Zimbabwe, the hosho and the mbira.   


Made from the dried and emptied hollow pods of mapudzi or maranka gourds, boiled in salted water to harden them, and filled with dried seeds (hota seeds of a specific variety of canna lily or dried maize kernels), the sharp cracking percussive sound of well-played hosho provide a strong sense of time and polyrhythmic energy to the music. Tinotenda – mbira and hosho

Zimbabwe 2021 stamps showing hosho and dancer

I wish I could supply better quality images, but this is what Zimbabwe Post offers.  Here it is being played. 

Mbira – Zimbabwe’s national instrument

Mbira is the traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Its history dates back more than a thousand years. The music is an extension of the culture, folklore, wisdom and spirituality of the Shona people. The Mbira Page (

Zimbabwe 2021 stamps showing mbira musical instrument

The Mbira has a complex history and it’s difficult to write about it in such a short period of time.  But the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), did a feature on the mbira. The video is short, but eloquently covers the importance of the mbira and harsh legacy of colonialism on Zimbabwean musicians.  

The hosho & mbira together

I dug around YouTube and found a lot of mbira and hosho musicians. I can’t share them all or we’ll be here all day. There’s a treasure trove of Zimbabwean music available and this is one of my favourites. 

Enjoy the music and hopefully you’ll become interested enough to seek out more. If you have links to Zimbabwean musicians or history, please feel free to post it in the comments. I’d love to see/hear more. 

Zimbabwe stamps for 2021

 Musical instruments

Zimbabwe stamps showing hosho & dancer mbira musical instrament

ZimPost FDC showing four stamps  Zimbabwe 2021 stamps

4 stamps for the Zimbabwean 2021 stamps

4 stamps, FDC

No information on the designers

Release date: February 15, 2021


2021 Covid-19 Awareness

2021 Covid-19 Awareness vaccine 2021 Covid-19 Awareness hand sanitising Zimbabwe 2021 stamps

2021 Covid-19 Awareness temperature checking 2021 Covid-19 Awareness hand washing

Zimbabwe 2021 stamps 

2021 Covid-19 Awareness FDC Zimbabwe 2021 stamps

No information on the designers

Release date: March 31, 2021


If you enjoyed the music and collect music on stamps, check out Musical Stamps blog Welcome – Musical Stamps ( They’ll keep you busy reading about musical philately for days. Or is that philatelic music? Hmm. 

As well, take a look at stamps from Botswana, featuring local artist Totang Mokoloki’s scorpions. Lots of little invertebrates to thrill any arachnid lover. Hell even if you don’t love arachnids, you’ll love the artwork.

 If you enjoy reading about stamps, you can help with a donation via the little coffee cup on the bottom left or PayPal. I’ll do the heavy lifting in getting the material sorted and you can sit back and enjoy.

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