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Mangoma Kutapira gets amapiano treatment

Life & Style
LOCAL music group Original AfriCANs have made a remake of Mangoma Kutapira

LOCAL music group Original AfriCANs have made a remake of Mangoma Kutapira, an age-old mbira track with a feel of amapiano.

The track will be launched today, coinciding with the Africa Day commemorations.

Amapiano, a genre which originated across the Limpopo River, in South Africa, has taken the world by storm and Zimbabwe has not been left behind.

Original AfriCANs is a pan-African, intergenerational band, led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Nyevero Muza and Nigel Tapiwanashe.

The duo believes in the ability of all Africans to excel in their chosen endeavours.

Muza described the song as a cultural exchange practice.

“The story Mangoma Kutapira is about mbira meeting amapiano or Mzansi meeting Zimbabwe, if you like,” he said.

“It is a story of cultural exchange and co-operation. In our Shona custom, we say “zvikomo zviri pedo zvinotambidzana mhute.”

Lately, there has been tension between the peoples of our countries and ultimately, it is about seeking to unite us. As musicians we seek to mend what is broken and we have to start somewhere, even if it is only at the level of a song.”

Muza added that as creatives they could not ignore what was becoming a global beat, amapiano.

“Amapiano is an amazing sound, which is trending all over the world. It cannot be ignored, but in all fairness, we did not just jump on to it, we made a carefully considered decision,” he noted.

“We just did not copy and paste the amapiano sound, we adapted it to our own tradition by seeing an old marimba classic (Mangoma Kutapira) through contemporary amapiano eyes, which gave the age-old song a new lease of life in a way ama2000 and international audiences can relate to.”

He continued: “We view amapiano as a vehicle to take our Zimbabwean sound and culture to newer and wider audiences. And we like to think that in this song, neither genre dominates or dilutes the other, they stand on an equal footing and complement each other, with the common goal of bridging cultural experiences or viewpoints.”

The song Mangoma Kutapira spotlights traditional music instruments (mbira, marimba and ngoma), and celebrates how sweet they sound together.

It also celebrates one of the iconic dances, the mbende jerusarema from Mashonaland East province, which is part of Zimbabwe’s Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Recently, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe launched the Culture Month and challenged stakeholders to come up with various activities to commemorate the month.

This year’s theme is Promoting Cultural Diversity, Unity and Peace and the Original AfriCANs accepted the challenge by celebrating the event by releasing the Mangoma Kutapira single.

The Original AfriCANs have four singles under their belt namely, Them and Us (2020), Uya Yesu Chido Changu (2021), Chikuru Rudo (2021) and Hi 5 (2021).

Chikuru Rudo and Uya Yesu Chido Changu have saxophone versions, technically bringing the total number to six.

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