ONE of Bulawayo’s forgotten fathers of imbaqanga music, Ndatshi Mkhize (71), is set to record a new album this year in a bid to revive the music genre, which has been on the decline.
BY ARTS REPORTER
Over the past years, he has been running a flea market stand at his residence and he usually coaches young artists.
Groomed by the late South African imbaqanga giant, Mahlathini between 1970 and 1972 at Stanley Hall in Bulawayo, Mkhize made his mark and became a household name.
Mkhize told NewsDay recently that he was out to revive imbaqanga music in Bulawayo, describing it as the root of much of the music that has been popular in the southern region for many years.
“I would like to preserve and revive imbaqanga. Even in South Africa, young artists such as Big Nuz, are taking our songs and mixing them. Here in Bulawayo the likes of Khulekani ‘Khuxman’ Bhethule are mixing traditional imbaqanga songs,” he said.
“It shows how powerful these songs are and the messages they carry. That is why I want to record one now and I will be happy that in my career as a musician I left something for younger generations.”
Mkhize said Jeys Marabini had promised to assist him this year with recording an album as he has been experiencing financial challenges.
“I would have recorded some of my tracks that I play in private functions, but I haven’t been making much to produce and release an album,” he said.
The pint-sized artiste had a stint in South Africa, where he performed with Mahotella Queens — a group of women who were Mahlathini’s backing vocalists.
He also worked with Intombi Zesimanje Manje, another musical outfit that was popular in Johannesburg in the late 1970s, stretching to the early 1990s.
Late last year, Mkhize had a performance in Johannesburg at Newton Night Club, where Ntokozo Zungu of Isitimela fame played the guitar for him.