A MUSIC teacher from Bulawayo has been awarded a top British award, the Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Queen Elizabeth II for his services in music, education and Zimbabwe and United Kingdom relations.
Mr Michael Bullivant (73), former senior master at Milton High School and the Principal of the Zimbabwe Music Academy (ZMA) in Bulawayo, was awarded the OBE by the monarch in her New Year’s Honours 2020 list released on Monday.
The OBE is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations and public service outside the civil service.
The bespectacled Mr Bullivant, who lives in Suburbs with his wife Lindsay, said he was speechless and at the same time happy.
“I’m thrilled and feel very honoured to have been awarded with the OBE like anyone else,” he said.
“I’ve been working for the Zimbabwe Music Academy for the past 14 years, but I’ve been involved in music for the past 40 years.
“I became chairman of Performing Arts Bulawayo in 1978 there about.”
Also on the list of OBEs are England Cricket all-rounder Ben Stokes and coach Trevor Bayliss.
A man who loves classical music, Mr Bullivant said music had been his passion since he was young and hence his involvement with the Zimbabwe Music Academy.
“Music has been my passion since my school days and I’ve tried to share it all these years,” he said.
“There have been ups and downs to find money to keep the academy going.
People have less and less spare money and music has become a luxury so it’s quite a struggle to keep things going.”
He wants all people to use the facilities at the academy.
“We are trying to bring in more people with expertise to help us expand our influence,” he said.
“People like Emmanuel Nkomo (Djembe Monks) has taken over as the drumming teacher.
“He’s one of the people who I’m hoping will help me expand into those other areas.”
Born on June 15, 1946 in Lincolnshire, England, Mr Bullivant learnt at King Edward VI Grammar School in Spilsby.
He moved to the then Rhodesia in 1975 and started teaching History at Milton High School.