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Ngosimbi Crew struggling


Do you remember popular songs Auntie Rhoda and Pamuchchato wa Tobias?

The two golden oldies quickly remind the not-so-young of the sungura ensemble Ngosimbi Crew.
The songs were among the bands hits that shook the airwaves and social gatherings in the late 90s and early into the new millennium.

The crew which gave us these yesteryear hits is still pursuing the arts with a new leader, but has not been fortunate to maintain the popularity.

Sam Mabukwa assumed leadership of the group after the original leader Admire Kasenga passed on a few years ago.

The new front man used to play rhythm guitar and was part of the backing vocals when the original leader was still at the helm.

The diminutive but muscular Mabukwa said it was easy to adapt because he already had practical experience and acquaintance with the group for quite a long time.

He started performing with the group soon after Kasenga passed on.

They then stopped doing the shows due to a number of setbacks.

Chief among them is lack of instruments and transport.

He said the group used to have its own set of instruments and a truck, but these were taken away and sold by Kasengas relatives after the hit man passed on.

Soon after Admire passed on, I took over leadership and started doing shows with the group.

We were in contact with his widow, who would retain some money from the gate-takings for the family upkeep, said Mabukwa.

But, we suddenly stopped doing the shows because some of Admires relatives took the instruments and the truck.

At the moment we dont have our own instruments. We are sometimes assisted by Jacob Mafuleni who lends us his equipment.

We really appreciate his help, but it is expensive considering the condition we are in, bemoaned Mabukwa. Veteran sungura proponent Nicholas Madzibaba Zakaria has also assisted the group in some instances taking them to Zambia and Mozambique on a number of projects.

The group is still in contact with Kasengas widow and they assist her whenever they can.

They have recorded a new album with Gramma Records titled Size Yakanaka which is still to be released. The upcoming album has six songs which expound on socially cross-cutting themes.

The tracks include Haya which focuses on behaviour of birds and their relevance to peoples lives. Nherera dwells on the importance of parents in ones life while Bhutsu hints on the need to trace back ones roots and assist relatives at home especially the disadvantaged.

Pfuma Yababa castigates relatives who usurp wealth from a surviving spouse or off-spring for their selfish benefits and Kure Kwegava emphasises the need for distant lovers to always be careful and stay focused.
Diaspora, which introspects on how the Diaspora has caused the demise of some families, is the last song on the album.

The six-member group comprises Mabukwa on lead vocals and lead guitar. Pharoah Chikada strums the bass guitar. Kudakwashe Kaponda plays drums. Knowledge Chapeu is on rhythm guitar and Chomi Mabukwa, nephew to Sam, supports with backing vocals.

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