ALL-FEMALE vocal ensemble Nobuntu is by now one of Zimbabwe’s most widely travelled musical acts and last Friday at the Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Expo, the group wowed with a riveting three-song set that had the audiences rapt.
By Admire Kudita
Before an audience of dignitaries and international guests, including Vice-President Constantine Chiwenga and members of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, the musical group spiced up an otherwise lacklustre event.
The event was in honour of the late national icon, as well as the launch of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation.
Interspersing with the speeches were the performances of Nobuntu, which seized the opportunity to promote its stylised vocal music. The group performed renditions of Miriam Makeba and Lovemore Majaivana hits from yesteryear.
Their look was regal, thanks to flowing skirts and headwraps. They had members of the audience eating out of their hands. The group has been together for six years and currently preparing a new album. Group members include Joyline Sibanda, Heather Dube. Thandeka Moyo, Zanele Manhenga (sister to Dudu Manhenga) and Duduzile Sibanda.
The group is also readying a new body of work after Thina and Ekhaya, which were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Group spokesperson Sibanda spoke on the creative process that produced the new offering entitled Obabes Bembube: “It was challenging (as) we had to think in a certain way and be deliberate in coming out wth the imbube sound. He (Dumisani ‘Ramadu’ Moyo, the producer) had to change melodies and shift words around. It was a different approach from the songs we have released before.”
Moyo owns the Austria-based 10th District records, responsible for the work of artistes such as Jeys Marabini.
The group tours regularly.
“We have been to Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Slovenia, United States and Italy. Music has been our main source of living. It’s a full-time job!”