Micheal Bullivane O.B.E.

      14/1/2020       Next-->

A Bulawayo academic has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (UK) for his contribution in the education, music and relations between Zimbabwe and the UK.
Michael Bullivant, a former deputy head at Milton High School and Principal of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth in her New Year's Honours list.
Michael is well known and loved by Bulawayo residents he may not be as well known by others. He is the Principal of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music and former deputy Head of Milton High School.

Michael has almost singlehandedly kept the Academy of Music going and has been indefatigable in his promotion of classical music in Zimbabwe. He has also been responsible for reaching out to disadvantaged communities to ensure that classical music is enjoyed by all Zimbabweans.
Michael has done this work for decades in the most trying of circumstances and has lifted the spirits of thousands of Zimbabweans in difficult times.
This honour is richly deserved and he deserves our hearty congratulations.

Apart from his indefatigable efforts to bring music and life to Bulawayo, Michael is also the main organiser behind the Bulawayo Music Festival. Every year Bulawayo has a glorious time at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music and it must undoubtedly be called the "Bullivant Bustle".

Michael Bullivant is the most amazingly energetic gentleman. The Director of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music and the Chairman of Performing Arts Bulawayo, Michael will be mortified that I have singled him out, as he does not enjoy publicity.

Featuring in the Bulawayo Music Festivals have been hundreds of local and international performers, Michael has brought to the Bulawayo Academy countless incredibly talented performers from all over the world and from the 2010 festival alone, let me show you the line up. Artistes including the Odeion String Quartet and guitarist James Grace, as well as the double bass virtuoso Leon Bosch, who was born in Cape Town, but left South Africa in the apartheid years and settled in Britain.

Trevor Lax, talented trumpeter, has conducted workshops for wind players as well as performing, as has world acclaimed guitarist, James Grace.

A first for the festival, was musical light entertainment by Kit and the Widow, a comedy duo who have performed in some of the top venues all over the world.

In addition, one of the duo, Richard Sisson, wrote "The Mukamba Tree", an half-hour work based on a book by the local author, June Farquhar, which involved upwards of 200 young performers.

The line-up was completed by Petroc Trelawny, well-known in Britain as a BBC Radio 3 announcer and producer.

Petroc interviewed all the performers during the festival and acted as narrator for The Mukamba Tree, as well as researching the 1953 Bulawayo Rhodes Centenary Festival for a projected radio programme and possible book.

One of the best known pianists of course was Leslie Howard, who is in the Guinness Book for his incredible feat of recording Liszt's complete solo piano music on 99 CDs (and perhaps deserves another entry since this will be his 12th visit to Bulawayo in 16 years).

And then of course there was Bulawayo's very own Michael Brownlee Walker, from Turk Mine, a former academy student now making a career in Britain. Elizabeth French and Coady Green, no strangers to Zimbabwe, added even more depth to the amazing musical talent making up the Bulawayo Music Festival.

"All men shall be brothers where your gentle wings beat, Your magic unites those whom rigid custom divides."

Believe me, Michael Bullivant weaves his amazing energetic magic, beat his own gentle wings, and annually unites us all annually in a week of musical bliss.

Michael Bullivant O.B.E.!!

This honour is richly deserved and he deserves our hearty congratulations.