BY SHARON SIBINDI
THOMEKI Dube, co-founder of popular music outfit Black Umfolosi, said he had embarked on a solo project to revive the mbaqanga genre he believes was becoming extinct in the country.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Dube said he felt duty-bound to revive the mbaqanga genre.
He said the genre touched on issues of gender equality, love, bereavement, children’s plight, particularly orphans, and questions wrong leadership, among other things.
“I am afraid no one else is doing the mbaqanga genre here in Zimbabwe, but only me. I would like to revive it and encourage more youths to take it up, it should not die. The genre is real and explosive music, peaceful and graceful,” he said. “I love the mbaqanga genre, actually I find peace and comfort in it as it flows naturally in my blood like the oxygen I breathe. Mbaqanga is all about our social lives as blacks, in particular people of southern Africa.”
Dube said he was a close follower of Abangane band such that he became friends with Sibusiso Mbatha (the band leader) and he was inspired to write and compose mbaqanga songs as well as performing them.
“When I was growing up, mbaqanga was the music of the day. We had the likes of Abangane, Abakhwenyana, CJB Sisters, Izinkunzi, Tisha Nzuze, Soul Brothers, the late Steve Kekana, Oguluva, Imitshotshovu and Soul Birds, among others,” he said.
“For the love of the mbaqanga genre, it is fulfilling for me and I am here to represent it fully. Those that follow me are genuine lovers of mbaqanga and those that believe in my works are a blessing.”
Despite pursuing solo projects, Dube said he remained a committed member of Black Umfolosi.
“Black Umfolosi . . . is my baby, I founded it in 1982 with Sotsha Moyo and some guys like Jupiter, James Zikhali, Benia, Lucky, Dumisani and Milton. Most of them have passed away and a few moved to greener pastures,” he said.
“Black Umfolosi is a big name, respected the world over. I will be always the engine behind it all my life.”
Dube said he was making a return in response to his fans’ calls.
“During this COVID-19 lockdown, I listened to people’s needs and they made a call for my return. So, I have a new nine-track album Kuzakuhlupha with Stofotofo as a bonus,” he said.
“The album talks of a situation where a family member does lots of donkey work for the whole family all the time without complaint, but is hardly appreciated or noticed. It advises that one has to be acknowledged and appreciated, while still alive.”
He said the album also carries a COVID-19 song that advises people to observe its precautions so as to survive and condoles family who lost their loved ones to the virus.
Dube has to date released five solo albums that include Ngenani Endlini, Moya Wami and ULungile Jesu.
He said his music could be found and bought through Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Deezer, Google play, 7digital and eMusic.
- Follow Sharon on Twitter @SibindiSharon