Village band begs for recognition

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Out of Nyanga North, famous for its scenic natural beauty, but deep in the mountains could come a formidable music group.

With makeshift instruments and very limited resources, an eight-member group Kurangana Boys from Machiwarira Village few kilometres from the Mozambican border has taken the area by storm with its music.

Second-hand guitars, primitive drums made of cow hide and wire, a small amplifier and two tiny speakers and a mini-generator are the group’s musical equipment that produces fine sungura music.

If given a chance to record, the group could work wonders and follow in the footsteps of popular sungura musicians in the country.

Kurangana Boys have captivated the hearts of many in their area, from the young to the old, and their name has become the talk of surrounding villages.

When preparing for a live performance they appear like madmen collecting old useless objects because of their poor quality instruments, but one would agree they are real musicians after a pulsating deliverance.

To make a living the boys, who perform in beerhalls, schools and other venues, charge R5 per head for each show.

They have showcased their talent in the neighbouring Mozambique and managed to impress many people, but the going has been tough for the rural boys who are struggling to make ends meet.

Edmore Samukuti, the band leader, said they are battling to make a breakthrough.

“Our group was formed in 2003 and it comprises members from Nyanga North area. We play sungura and we usually stage our live shows in schools, beerhall and other gatherings,” said Samukuti.

“We started as a trio till other guys from the area joined us. We are facing a challenge of getting instruments and sometimes we sell our goats and other valuables for us to secure second-hand guitars.

“The major problem is how we can purchase drums, as you can see we have traditionally made drums as we can’t secure even second-hand ones.

“If we get instruments and a recording contract, we are convinced that we could excel since we have already composed a lot of songs.

“We have tried to go and hold shows in Mozambique, but the returns have not been what we expected and we cannot solidify our groups because of these financial constraints,” he said.

The group is made up of two rhythm guitarists Shorai Nyambuya and Marvellous Nyamajiwa, Edmore Samukuti on lead guitar, Francis Samukute on bass guitar and drummer Fungai Muzinde.

When this writer came across the group performing in Nyanga recently, songs like Ndine Rudo and Vadzidzisei proved to be people’s favourite.