Another massively talented mbira ensemble based in Chitungwiza, Madhonza Makuru, has emerged on the scene and is set to establish itself in mainstream music circles with its latest offering, Pahukama.
Madhonza Makuru is a vibrant and enthusiastic mbira group made up of professional artists with zeal to take this genre to greater heights.
“Our music signals the need to preserve the African culture and tradition without fear and promoting ownership to the cultural heritage for empowerment and economic development,” said Thomas Mukandi, manager of the ensemble.
Formed last year, the group specialises in advocating for preservation of Zimbabwean cultural heritage through mbira music.
The highly promising group is made up of five members, who in the past have worked with other renowned mbira groups in the country.
The ensemble is led by versatile founder Forget Maera who plays various mbira instruments including nheketo and nhovapasi. To all those who have been closely following the group since it started, Tawanda Muringayi is one of the members who has frequently risen to the occasion, arguably becoming one of the finest mbira players in this genre. He is an experienced vocalist, mbira player and songwriter who has won the hearts of many mbira fans through his artistry and skill when performing on stage.
Tsungayi “Veteran” Chihwade is one of the artists who has probably seen it all having started playing mbira music since his childhood. He has gained experience through working with outfits like Mbira Dzepasi and Majukwa Spirits.
Former Pasichigare and Madendera Emabvazuva mbira player Phinias Mavhunga, who plays the ngoma (drum) has added a lot of spice to the group’s music and has devoted his life to being one of the group’s full—time members.
Ricky “Mhofu” Mukumbi is the eldest in the ensemble, an experienced dancer, choreographer and hosho (rattle) player.
“The vast experience we have in our group gives us the platform to entertain the audience on cultural and non-cultural platforms.”
“Our vision is to initiate cultural exchange programmes and register a trust that will be responsible for promoting and training young people in different musical skills,” said Mukandi.
For mbira lovers and fans of modern contemporary play of mbira instruments, this album is something to get excited about.
Pahukama is the group’s debut offering comprising six tracks which include the title track Pahukama, an announcement of their arrival on the local mbira scene.
Mudzimu Ndiringe,one of the tracks on the album, bears masterful execution of modern mbira artistry fused with the drums and hosho, creating a unique sound that is complemented by their rich and qualitative lyrics. Vakenda Kare, Zvinoyera and Mutekedza are songs on the album that have that hard -driving bass mbira.
All tracks were recorded and mastered at Track Records and the album officially launched at Taste of Africa. It is already available on the market. and some tracks are receiving airplay on several local radio stations.