AFTER a successful two-month tour of the United States, all-female ensemble Nobuntu will officially unveil their new album — Obabes beMbube — next Saturday at the National Gallery in Bulawayo.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
This will be the ensemble’s third album, which they said built on the success of Thina and Ekhaya, released in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Group member Duduzile Sibanda told NewsDay Life & Style that the title was the colloquial version of “young women of mbube” — an assertion of Nobuntu’s position as a music force in a traditionally male-dominated genre.
She said the album was produced by Dumisani Ramadu Moyo, a founding member of the internationally-acclaimed mbube trio, Insingizi.
“The title track is about female mbube singers imploring a radio DJ, who usually airs a lot of male mbube, to include female mbube on their playlist. Nobuntu members all share a common goal to promote and preserve ubuntu, a Nguni word meaning compassion and humanity. In fact, the name Nobuntu means ‘mother of ubuntu’,” she said.
Sibanda said this will also be echoed in the song Umusa (Kindness), which recognises how kindness can bring healing when rifts develop among people.
The album also carries the tracks Cula (Sing), Asambeni (Let’s Go) and Silele, a traditional song that honours traditional healers, known as sangomas.
“Sangomas are revered as communicators between the living and ancestral spirits with the power to heal, to appease social disharmony and also bring the rain,” Sibanda said.
The album also carries the song Amazing Grace and a bonus track — Town Hall — composed by Hilda Buthelezi and originally performed by South Africa’s legendary Mahotella Queens.
The song honours women who, through their strength and great music talent, can move mountains and bring down a town hall.