BY SHARON SIBINDI
CHARLES Banda — son of the late artiste and founding member of Sunduza Boys, Simon Mahlaba Banda — has finally decided to embark on solo projects after holding forte at the band following his father’s death several years ago.
Simon was revered as a great mentor, producer, singer and performer during his time with the outfit now known as Sunduza Dance Theatre. Simon did the soundtrack in the movie, Power of One, which was shot in Bulawayo and features Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman.
His son recently released his debut solo album, Ndebe Zami, which many music lovers say is a gem.
“I have become a solo artiste because I want to explore my talent in afro-jazz and pop music because I got positive comments from different people who say I should try to sing with instruments as my voice is powerful,” Charles said.
“Most of them know me from singing Imbube and doing theatre. The person who helped do my first track is Hwabaraty, who is also a celebrated artiste in the city. That is when I started the journey.”
Banda said he drew inspiration from his late father.
“I learnt a lot from my father. At that time, I was a footballer. After his passing on, I started doing arts and I believe it was a calling. I didn’t know I could make it. I am now pushing on the legacy in both music and theatre after I discovered that I had the potential to venture in this live instrumental music,” he said.
Banda said he was still a full-time member of Sunduza Dance Theatre.
“Without Sunduza, I am nothing because the group has taught me how to be an artiste through music and theatre. I am still with my team Sunduza full-time. They have given me the blessings and greenlight to uplift my talent. Every member in the group is allowed to do his or her solo projects after our groupwork is done. We have different talents. It’s not only singing, dance and acting, but we are free to push through different talents,” he said.
He said his debut album has a positive message which speaks to people and caters for both the young and old generations.
“The album also has got three love songs, and so far I have made two videos for the songs Ngikethe Wena which is trending and the other for Umuntu Wami. All songs were composed by me. Going solo is a good thing, but there are too many challenges,” he said.
“I tried my best to make this happen as I knew that was a stepping stone which could shape my music career. The album was out in December last year and when people started to see the video trailer which I had done, they requested my songs, especially in the United Kingdom and South Africa. I am happy that my music is making waves and now I have started believing in myself.”