Drum, percussion define Yenge Family

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BY TENDAI SAUTA
LOCAL sungura and rhumba ensemble Yenge Family say their creativity is rooted in promoting the use of drum and percussion instruments.

The multi-lingual and cultural nine-piece band was founded in 2015 by Collen Tom, a music teacher, composer, arranger and drummer.

In a recent interview, Tom who started drumming at the age of 17 said: “Yenge is Kiswahili for drum and drum arrangements lay the foundation to all our music, while other instruments follow either as harmony or accompaniment.

“We emulate the living legend Nicholas “Madzibaba” Zakaria, who creates and performs music filled with African cultural diversity and lyrics whose messages are rooted from a biblical perspective.”

As part of ploughing back into the community, Tom said he was teaching drumming at a local academy.

Yenge Family’s manager Allan Kachepa said although they seek to promote drum and percussion instruments, they, however, also use other instruments to harmonise their compositions.

“Our band has grown from strength to strength and our compositions have also improved. We are embracing lyrics that encourage good citizenship and an admirable Christian faith and action,” he said.

“The response for our rhumba music is quite overwhelming. Fans are appreciating our music and we are also happy that we are receiving fair airplay on local radio stations.”

Through their music, the group seeks to spread moral consciousness and social gospel. The band is currently preparing to release a second album, Gloire a Jesus Christ (Glory be to Jesus Christ).

“The song Miranesimba on our forthcoming album carries the message that people need to stand with God no matter how much we struggle or difficult challenges we may face in our lives,” he said.

“The song Noah is a narration of the biblical story of Noah and explains how we need to be obedient to God, while the track Baba Abrahama is based on the biblical story of Lazarus and the rich man.”

Yenge Family’s other song on the album Mune Simba talks about how God saved and still protects people during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic era.

“The track Ndikoko is a reminder to hatters that enemies may try to fight you, but they forget God fights for his children and Hupenyu Hwanhasi encourages individuals not to depend on other people, but rather on God,” he said.

Other tracks on the album are Yaweh, Rudo and Mumhepo.

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