By Catherine Murombedzi
NINE local artistes have come up with a music album titled Nhaka Yedu.
The collection, composed of 10 songs, celebrates the country’s heritage.
Produced by Zimbabwe Heritage Trust, the collection is pregnant with vibes from jiti, jazz, sungura, kwaito and contemporary music blended to sound pop.
The lyrics, chords and melody sound good, making it an album one can play from the first to the last song.
Music rating is subjective, with lyrics and beat making or breaking a song.
Nhaka Yedu’s instrumentation is top notch, with innovation that will see it appreciated by all age-groups.
This is the kind of music that will not fizzle out soon after its release; the album is definitely not in the ‘bubble-gum’ music category.
This collection will easily fall into the category of timeless classics.
Artistes featured on the album include Willis waTaffi (of Afrika Revenge), Sebede, Bob Nyabinde, Emmanuel Thomas, Dingimuzi Phuti, Nancy Mutize, Mechanic Manyeruke, Jennifer Maneni and Memory Marimazhira.
The mix of young and old artistes enriches Nhaka Yedu, making it appeal to various tastes.
Nyabinde is at his best, bringing a classic jazz touch to the production.
Nyabinde does not disappoint, delivering a soft jazz flared sing-along.
The crooner, on the title track ‘Nhaka Yedu’, stresses that our heritage must be passed from one generation to the other.
In 4’ 52”, which is the duration of the song, Nyabinde leaves the listener asking for more.
Willis waTaffi of the ‘Wanga’ fame brings a refreshing touch to the track ‘Tateguru’, urging one to get on the dance floor with his guitar-driven dance music.
The fast beat fuses well with the lyrics.
‘Tateguru’ takes one into the future.
It is a future built on one’s heritage.
The song is laden with a Korekore feel, especially the beat and instrumentation.
The artiste questions why people have turned their backs on the country’s rich history. Failure to be custodians of our culture and way of life has resulted in the loss of life-affirming values.
‘Anhu acho’ brings in the Wasu touch from Sebede with ‘Educate’ bringing a lighter side to the album.
‘Educate’ is a fast danceable song, with a message that awakens people to the danger of excesses in day-to-day affairs, especially partying with ‘no limit’.
In ‘Fare fare tindike’, the public is discouraged from using skin lightening creams that pose a serious danger to health.
Emmanuel Thomas, a lead guitarist from the all-time great Frontline Kids, does not disappoint in ‘Wakaropafadzwa’.
The gospel great Mechanic Manyeruke breezes in with the mature touch the older generation identifies with.
In the song ‘Marudzi’ the gospel godfather calls on all Zimbabweans to know their roots. He talks if the intertwined relationships that hold us together as a people. The message in the album is clear — we ought to treasure our heritage.
Zimbabwe is blessed with abundant natural resources. Fruit is available in the wild. Valuable minerals can be found across the breadth of the country.
Phuti brings in the kwela sound to the project. His song emphasises the traditional way of life remains the best for the indigenes. His mellow voice and Kalanga accent makes ‘Intondolo Emnyama’ a superb gem.
The song ‘Africa’ by Phuti takes one through the injustices of colonialism.
It explains how indigenes lost, not just their land, but language and culture as the imperialists forcefully took control of all the means of production.
Though delivered in Kalanga, even those not familiar with the language can get the message.
On the other hand, ‘Rwakaenda’ is a jazz beauty with a firm female voice from Nancy Mutize. The song talks about how true love has become a rare commodity.
The song bemoans the broken extended family, lack of unity and how a sister or brother is now called a cousin, but it was not so in the past. In the past we were all brothers and sisters.
‘Chipatapata’ with a Tuku feel good rhythm guitar touch calls on working together, pulling together, building cultural centres in order to pass the heritage to the new generation. Know where you came from, where you are heading to. Your identity is valuable, a gemstone to be treasured. Jenniffer Maneni’s future in the showbiz industry is bright.
The 10-song collection is a must-listen for all.
For your 2018 music collection, I urge you to get Nhaka Yedu — it is music that will definitely withstand the test of time.
It is a great accompaniment for those on long drives as it offers genres cutting across all age-groups.