BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Committed to the Cause

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Julia Tsitsi Chigamba

FOUNDER
 

Born into a family of vibrant musicians, Julia grew up steeped in the rich cultural traditions of Shona music and dance in Zimbabwe. Daughter of the highly respected mbira master, Sekuru Chigamba, Julia was a longtime member of Mhembero, the Chigamba family dance and mbira ensemble, and she was also a member of the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe.

Shortly after her arrival to live in the US, Julia founded the Chinyakare Ensemble who performs traditional Zimbabwean music and dance, whom she still performs with to this day. Julia continues to teach dance, music, and culture in Oakland schools and in the greater Bay Area community.

Julia has also started her own clothing line inspired by African designs, the Tsuro collection.

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DeLisa Branch-Nealy

PRESIDENT 

DeLisa comes from a very musical family.  Her father, mother, and siblings all studied music, and DeLisa has been dancing since she was 4 years old.  She started with ballet as a child, then studied West African dance with Djoniba Mouflet in New York, and now studies Zimbabwean dance with Julia Chigamba.  

DeLisa has known Julia since 2001 and been dancing with her and Chinyakare since 2005.  She has performed with Chinyakare all over California and the US, including in the world-renowned Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco three times from 2010-2012.  

DeLisa is also a surgical nurse (RN BSN) at CPMC Davies in San Francisco, and lives with her husband and three children in Albany, California.

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Jimi Evins

Jimi is an artist, art educator, and Cultural Arts Activist. He is passionate about Pan Africanism as a solution to the African diasporas quest for Equality.


Jimi has been an Art Director for many years in the East Oakland community. As a graduate of CCA (California College of the Arts), Evins has worked with many arts organizations to bring quality art programming to Oakland, and especially East Oakland.

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Mike A. Nealy

Mike is a graduate of Howard University, and he has a Masters in Business with a concentration in Finance from Fordham University. He has worked as a CFO and Controller for over 18 years.

 

Mike enjoys music and dance from many genres. He is a Jazz enthusiast, family historian, and has supported Zimbabwean music and culture for over 15 years.

ADVISORY BOARD​

John K. Nyamuzuwe (aka Johnonoh)
Afua / Carol Yates
Marsha Treadwell, PhD

Organization Development Consultant

Ali Ar Rasheed, J.D., Founder/CEO of AAR Developmental Consultants

TawandaMuChinyakare means"we are many, all in deep tradition." This philosophy is central to the Kumusha Foundation’s identity and mission.