BY SHARON SIBINDI
A GERMAN music group, Imbongi — Voices for Africa has done orientation for Bulawayo award-winning Isichatamiya gospel group, Indosakusa — The Morning Star song titled COVID-19, NewsDay Life & Style has learnt.
The track COVID-19 that won the Best COVID song at the annual PPC Zimbabwe-sponsored Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) 2021 will be performed by the Heidelberg-based music group this October in its home country.
The Indosakusa — The Morning Star group leader Oscar Siziba said they felt honoured that their song has touched the hearts of Germans.
“We feel very honoured about that because it shows that the song was well-written and sounds nice. . . .for us we see great opportunities on that,” he said.
“It is so amazing. It shows us that this choir is dedicated and I am seeing team spirit in them. They also sing in Ndebele, I interpreted for them the meaning of the song so they now understand what they are singing.”
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Imbongi — Voices for Africa conductor, Klaus Loescher said the importance of the theme of the song inspired them to make it part of their reportoire.
“We found this wonderful song by coincidence, someone had sent me the original and when I listened to it, I was instantly excited and inspired. So I wrote down what I heard and saw,” he said.
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“It was easy to convince the Imbongi choir to make it part of our repertoire due to the importance of the topic all over the world, and also due to the fact that we love the special style of Ndebele singing that has seen us interpreting several songs by Ladysmith Black Mambazo ( a South African male choral group).”
Loescher said it took them eight months to do the cover version of the song.
“Like almost every choir in the world we only could meet on a digital platform for about eight months, rehearsing and learning the lyrics and tunes without hearing the other members,” he said.
The group’s board member Annette Lennartz said they took challenges and always sang songs from southern Africa. She added that at one point they had a young woman from Bulawayo in their choir who helped them with pronunciation.
“We chose an Ndebele name because we are storytellers too. It is a nice cultural transfer and people here love it. They like to listen to the beautiful rhythms and grooves and sounds and we tell them stories which cover the lyrics,” she said.
“With the COVID-19 song the Indosakusa guys sent us the lyrics and translation and we stayed in vivid and interesting contact. We like their style of singing and moving.”
Lennartz said they had been visiting and collecting songs from southern African countries like South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia.
Follow Sharon on Twitter @SibindiSharon