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Music by Prudence

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Music by Prudence

Music by Prudence
Directed by Roger Ross Williams
Produced by Roger Ross Williams
Elinor Burkett
Patrick Wright (co-producer)
Starring Prudence Mabhena
Tapiwa Nyengera
Energy Maburutse
Honest Mupatse
Marvelous Mbulo
Vusani Vuma
Goodwell Nzou
Farai Mabhande
Music by Music Producer/additional composition Ted Mason
Cinematography Derek Wiesehahn (director of cinematography)
Errol Webber
Osato Dixon
Edited by Geeta Gandbhir (editor)
Patrick Wright (associate editor)
Release dates
  • April 2010 (2010-04)
Running time 33 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Music by Prudence is a 2010 short documentary film directed by Roger Ross Williams. It tells the uplifting story of the now 24-year-old Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena, and follows her remarkable transcendence from a world of hatred and superstition into one of music, love, and possibilities.

Music by Prudence won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). The film premiered on HBO on May 12, 2010.


Music by Prudence tells a self-empowering story of one young woman's struggle who, together with her band, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds and, in her own voice, conveys to the world that "disability does not mean inability."

Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena was born severely disabled. The society she was born into considers disabilities to carry the taint of witchcraft.[1] Because of this, many disabled children are abandoned. But Prudence and the seven young members of the band she has formed called Liyana, all disabled, have managed to overcome stereotypes and inspire the same people that once saw them as a curse.

The main subjects of Music by Prudence, and members of the band "Liyana", are:


On 7 March 2010, Music by Prudence won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).

Music by Prudence also won:

  • the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short at the Florida Film Festival
  • Best Short at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival
  • Best Short at the DocuWest Film Festival.

See also

  • iThemba, another documentary film about Liyana


  1. ^ "Oscar nomination for ‘Music by Prudence’ about disabled Zimbabwean singer Prudence Mabhena". San Francisco BayView. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 

External links

  • Music by Prudence at the Internet Movie Database
  • Official website
  • Official Liyana Website
  • King George VI Centre and School for Children with Physical Disabilities
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