Gehende Musik aus allen Himmelsrichtungen / Music on the move
Keith Goddard Obituary
Categories: News


13.03.1960 – 09.10.2009

Dear all,

With deep grief and sorrow we have been informed that our friend and Director of Kunzwana Trust Keith Goddard passed away on Friday 9 October at St Anne’s hospital in Harare, where to he has been admitted two weeks earlier with pneumonia.

It seems really impossible to believe that Keith has gone. What a great loss to all of us, foremost to his mother Pauline but also for the gay and lesbian community of Zimbabwe, GALZ, for the promotion of cultural exchange by Kunzwana Trust and for the Tonga.Online project and the Tonga community at large.

Keith has always been in the forefront in pushing for tolerance and appreciation of cultural and sexual differences in society but was also actively involved in broader human rights campaigning and in the fight for access to affordable treatment for all people living with HIV/AIDS. He was a distinguished composer and promoter of cultural diversity and cultural exchange.

Just five month ago Keith was with us at the Parade here in Linz / Austria, the Cultural Capital of Europe 2009. We have just completed the video documentary which shows him dancing amongst his Tonga and Austrian friends, not only to the tune of Ngoma Buntibe but to the merger of sounds from different parts of the globe. Together we enjoyed the full fruition of our Parade concept. He was so happy about it that he went to the studios the next day to delve again into the sound recordings with the ambition to create another composition out of it.

I feel very sorry that I could not visit him in Harare hospital on my way out from my project visit in Binga last week. I know that the Tonga people and the Tonga.Online project were very close to his heart.

Despite all odds in recent years, Keith never gave up. When we heard about his illness this very reason left us hoping still. Now we have to accept the unbelievable: Keith has gone. But he will stay with us in our memories, in our aspirations and in our compassion for his mother, colleagues and friends in Zimbabwe.

We offer our sincerest condolences to all of you and assure you of our continued support.

A luta continua.

Peter Kuthan

Linz 10th October 2009

Keith Goddard short bio

Keith Goddard (born 1960) was a Zimbabwean composer and human rights activist. He studied composition under David Lumsdaine and John Casken at Durham University. Electroacoustic works include Afterthought (1982) and The Monolith (1997), the latter as part of a collaborative project with Austrian composers reflecting on Tonga music from the Zambezi Valley. Instrumental/vocal works include Red Fox (1982) for unaccompanied choir and Kutamba (1983) for choir and orchestra commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra of Zimbabwe. In 1996, he won the South African M-Net film music award for his score to the Zimbabwean feature film, Flame. In 2007, he was commissioned by Linz09 to develop the Parade concept in collaboration with Peter Kuthan.


‘He dared go where most men wouldn’t’ - an obituary by Peter Androsch in The African Times


Categories: News -

13 Comments to “Keith Goddard Obituary”

  1. Elizabeth C. says:

    Dear Peter,
    It is saddening indeed to hear of Keith Goddard’s death. I only met him
    twice, when he accompanied you to the Moorings, but he was someone who
    made an immediate deep impression — he was so obviously intelligent and
    involved with the world. One good thing is that you all shared the Linz
    parade where he must have been in his element. He will be missed, and not
    least by the Tonga musicians whose music he came to understand to the
    point where he could play with it.

  2. Richard Simango says:

    Dear All,

    We are organising TWO celebrations for Keith, one in Binga and the other in Siachilaba. We are sharing stories on the Life of Keith and re-screening the Parade video to stakeholders who could not make it last time.

    We are sharing stories in Siachilaba and play Ngoma in Memory of Keith. We welcome any Ideas.


  3. Cont Mhlanga says:

    Dear Peter,

    This is sad for Zimbabwe. What a loss for the whole nation and for us at
    Amakhosi. Peter we have to do something to remember him at the expo, I do
    not know what but we have to celebrate his activisim in this world. He was
    a great guy.

    Cont Mhlanga
    P.O Box 2370

  4. Dismas Leonard and the Zumari from Zanzibar says:

    He was a great person with great personality-thats what i can say!
    For the short time i have known him, i couldnt stop listening to his poetic words with amazing voice and accent.
    He will be remembered always!

  5. Ike Okafor says:

    Hallo Peter,
    My sincere sympathy. We will miss him so much.
    In the project cooperation with Radio Fro and Linz 09, I have met him as a man who through his engagement gave me the courage to continue in the struggle for Respect for Mankind. May his soul rest in peace.

    Ike Okafor
    Black Community Oberösterreich

  6. Fadzai Muparutsa says:

    Dear Friends and Partners

    The Members, Board and Management Committee of GALZ would like to express their profound gratitude for your support and comfort during the illness and subsequent loss of our beloved friend and Director, Keith Goddard. Thank you to all that joined us for the funeral service, your presence was not only a comfort but a source of strength for us during this difficult time.

  7. Josiah Moyo says:


    We are sorry to learn about the death of Keith. May his soul rest in peace. This will be sad news to the valley people and me too because of his interaction, he has gone as a fighting man. Let us carry his ambition forward from where he left it till to the end.


  8. May all those who knew Keith continue to celebrate his life by raising our flags that much higher, not only to honour his extraordinary achievements but ensure that his vision of a so much better world CAN be realised … whilst we still have time!

    Let us continue to face life’s challenges by finding his enormous courage, love and true compassion within ourselves … he was simply the best!

  9. Saviour Miyanda says:

    Dear Mr. Kuthan,

    My deep condolences!!!! I can’t believe that Keith is gone and never to meet him again. I have just opened my mail to find this sad message. I have been busy for the past weeks such that I had no time to check on my mail. I am really saddened by this tragic event. I will phone Chief Sinazongwe about it.

    May Keith’s soul rest in peace.


  10. Hanna Hacker says:

    Dear Peter Kuthan, dear all,
    I read this only now, having been busy and travelling during the last weeks. This is terribly sad news. My warmest condolences!
    Although I knew a lot about Keith Goddard’s impressive and important work in the cultural field as well as in the struggle for sexual diversity, I met him only once, a couple of months ago in Vienna. It was a brief but wonderfully warm and charming encounter, and I feel deeply grateful for this memory.
    Hanna Hacker

  11. Peter says:

    The African Times: Another obituary for Keith

    ‘He dared go where most men wouldn’t’

    Zimbabwean composer Keith Goddard, who died in October, fought tirelessly for music and human rights – By Peter Androsch

    Cultural and artistic diversity – that was the lifelong creed through which Keith Goddard sought to connect Europe and Africa. His most recent attempt was the “Parade” festival, part of Linz’ turn as European Capital of Culture.

    read more:

  12. Peter says:

    A minute’s silence in commemoration of Keith Goddard was suggested and held during the opening speech of Ulrike Lunacek, member of the European parliament, addressing the ILGA Europe congress on the island of Malta end of October. Ulrike has been a good friend of Keith and encouraged him often in his struggle for human rights in Zimbabwe.


  13. Millcent Tanhira says:


    A small stature, a giant voice, a powerful spirit
    How best can I describe you, words fail me.
    Your wit, intelligence and determination
    Amidst all the struggle and condemnation
    With the stubborness of a horse, you still rose
    Stood higher than your own height could reach
    Fought with your every breath till the end.
    A true hero, you are.
    Saka ndichiti, zororai murugare

    Your were crucified and vilified,
    Yet could not be terrified for you still sacrificed
    Where others where running away, you stood firm
    Gave voice to the voiceless, fought tirelessly for all
    For what you believed you stood bravely
    Your never-die spirit will be cherished
    A cadre, a colleague, genuine Comrade for our struggle
    Lala kahle

    By Millcent Tanhira

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