One of Zimbabwe’s leading musical groups Nobuntu is currently on a tour in the United States.
By Admire Kudita
The group, made up of Heather Dube on vocals and percussions, Dudu Sibanda Mothobe (vocals), Zanele Manhenga (vocals), Joyline Sibanda (vocals) and Thandeka Moyo (vocals). The five-member group, which left the country on September 17, is a rarity in a field largely dominated by male vocalists — the likes of the famous Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Zimbabwean legends Black Umfolosi.
Imbube is a music genre, which emanates from the Nguni tribes of Southern Africa and lends itself to harmonising and making use of the voice as the principal instrument. Formed as a project of 10th District music led by Dumisani Ramadu Moyo, an imbube exponent with the platinum selling Insingizi, Nobuntu has grown in prowess to become one of the country’s leading artistic flag flyers.
In the third year running, the group is currently gracing famous venues and theatres across America, deviating from the path which local artists, aside from Tuku, Mokoomba and Thomas Mapfumo, have trudged, playing to largely Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
Nobuntu is blazing a path of musical glory, which will definitely pay off in the end by the look of things. Writing on their social media pages, fans have been enthusing about the group:
“Fantastic concert tonight! A beautiful reminder of how great a contribution the southern part of Africa has made to world music,” one Tom Roberts writes.
“You were fabulous tonight at the Attucks Theatre in Norfolk, Virginia! I am so glad to have heard you live. Hoping you return next year. Thank you for your beautiful music and the way you engaged the audience throughout your performance,” Heather Hollowell, who aslo attended the show, wrote.
The group’s video Obabes Bembube is available on Itunes, as is their music catalogue. Going by the hashtag #ObabesEmelika, Nobuntu is a group of women who started off singing in different groups and platforms in Bulawayo. Coming together was a masterstroke and making it work and monetising the craft is the plan.
The trip comes courtesy of the group’s US agent, Baylin Agency. Industry observers say that respecting the music industry value chain is integral to success for any artist.