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African Jigsaw

Hunger is not the only problem facing the Third World.

African Jigsaw looks at the problem of Urbanisation, its effects on traditional tribal African life and the casualties left in its wake.

Africa's shanty towns are home to the victims of "progress". Many have abandoned their tribal traditions as the land has failed to support them and their families. They are drawn by the material attraction of the cities and arrive with great hopes of work and prosperity.

But many are disappointed and can only eke out a humiliating existence in the shanty towns. For the sad fathers and mothers they leave behind on the land, there is a growing realisation that the old way of life is slowly dying out.

African Jigsaw concerns a problem facing all developing countries and does not pretend the solution is a simple one. But seeing the pieces of the jigsaw may help young and old alike to come to an understanding of the situation and, perhaps, to draw their own conclusions on its rights and wrongs.


3 Flutes, 3/4 Bb Clarinets, 2 Alto Saxophones, 1 Tenor Saxophone

3 Bb Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Tuba

Classical/Acoustic Guitar, Electric BassElectric Keyboard, (String) Synthesiser, PianoTimpani, Bass Drum, Drum KitAfrican Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone, GlockenspielAfrican Thumb Piano, Bongos, Congas

Details of Publications currently available:
Piano/Vocal Score is available on sale from
Presto Music

Chorus Book available from Presto Music

Word Book available from Presto Music
Full Score and Stage Band parts available on hire from Josef Weinberger Ltd

Performing the Musical:

If you are considering a performance and would like to know more about licensing details and hire of parts, please visit here

Recordings and Additional Resources:
A cassette/CD, performed by the Choir and Musicians of St. Augustine's RC High School, Billington and narrated by Mary Miller (RSC) is available by contacting 
Alex Dangerfield at Josef Weinberger Ltd. MP3 downloads of every song can be purchased here.

Television Appearances:African Jigsaw was shown as a Splash Special documentary by ITV and can now be viewed on YouTube. Click here.

Sample Songs (mp3):

Dead On My Feet
Nsansa Censele
Doorway in the Rain
Bumper to Bumper

*Composer's note:

Whilst the African spirit runs strongly through both the words and the music, the score has been designed to be accessible to Western schoolchildren of limited musical experience. Ideally the accompaniment should be as colourful as possible. However, a performance with piano and percussion, with or without a smaller stage band, should prove to be musically acceptable. The percussion adds an important character to the work. Many of the instruments such as Thumb Pianos and Drums could be researched, designed and constructed in the school's Craft, Design and Technology Department as a project for students.

The African Marimba in particular gives an essentially African feel to the music. The beautiful-sounding instrument used in our first performances and recordings was constructed out of simple materials by an enthusiastic parent. His plans, along with other educational material for use in conjunction with African Jigsaw, are available on request from the Education Departments of WWF-UK.

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