THERE have always been concerns about the quality of Zimbabwean musical videos as a large number of them are largely of poor quality and composition.
BY TAPIWA ZIVIRA
Often, the videos are rushed either due to lack of resources, or simply, failure to plan and give enough time to the composition process.
While now and then, great videos are produced—like Clive Malunga’s Nesango, Leonard Zhakata’s Gomba Remarara, Tuku’s Ndakuvara, among others— most of them are just garbage material.
Amid this scarcity, mbira princess Hope Masike has just released a music video to her song Huyai Tinamate and if quality is anything to go by, it could be the best audio-visual production for 2015.
Huyai Tinamate, taken off Masike’s second album, ‘Mbira, Love & Chocolate’, was released as a song in 2012.
Backed by a soft, urban-mbira fusion hybrid beat, the gospel video, which is a call to prayer over death and hardships, was crafted using simple yet captivating effects in a setting that perfectly portrays the message in the song.
In motion pictures that can only be likened to Madonna’s epic Frozen video, Hope presents herself in a black gown with fire burning on her feet and a snake slithering around in what can be seen as a ritual to cause death.
Hope later comes out in an all-white gown singing while a pregnant elderly woman is seen sitting close to a grave, mourning.
Using the simple hues and effects, Hope probably gives a lesson or two to Zimbabwean musicians; that producing a good video may not necessarily require a large amount of resources.
But perhaps the fascinating aspect of Hope Masike’s music is her attempt to blend several genres with Huyai Tinamate titled ‘mbira meets gospel’
Hope also has a ‘mbira-meets-sungura’ song called Wepepedu, which is a classic reminder of Master Chivero’s music.
Riding on a heavy, fluid bassline, a ‘talking’ lead guitar, the rhythm guitar, traditional for conventional sungura—is this time replaced by mbira!
At 1:53, Hope ups the game and picks up the song’s pace in a way that can prompt any ‘Borrowdale’, ‘Chips’ of ‘Kabhasikoro’ dancer to the floor.
The only disappointment is that, perhaps the song could have been longer and Hope could have experimented with more ‘tricks’ and styles the way sungura is usually done.
At three minutes, the song ends before the real action starts.
However, with such great quality videos and a continued pursuit of blending different local genres Hope’s future in the music industry can surely be guaranteed.