Zimbabwe: Ngwazi Album Shakes Sungura Landscape

13 August 2019

Rising sungura artiste, Mark Ngwazi, has thumped his nose on suggestions by a small section of music lovers that the sungura genre was on its deathbed, following the release of what promises to be a scorching album.

There are perspectives by many that Zimdancehall is overtaking sungura but the Njanja Express frontman's latest offering, "Mudzimu Wabudira Pambeveve", has thrown a huge challenge at the assertion.

While it is indisputable that Zimdancehall has a strong following, especially in high density areas, the same can be said about sungura particularly in the rural areas and farming communities.

And with Christmas almost four months away, Ngwazi appears to have taken the front row, at least for now as other artistes are in studios.

Ngwazi, a social and economic commentator blessed with extraordinary composition skills possibly challenged by legendary ZORA music proponent Leonard Karikoga Zhakata, has taken sungura music by storm.

Mixed, mastered and produced by Diamond Studios' Bothwell Nyamhondera, a veteran in the sector, also gives an insight into the vastly talented artiste's guitar strumming skills.

The six-track album starts with "Tisazokanganwa", a track that lays bare the quantum of challenges confronting people on the planet, including having large sums of money and assets such as houses but not enjoying them while the "poor" get peaceful sleep even in "grinding mills".

Critically, Ngwazi bemoans the tendency by some people to splash their hard-earned cash on goods that don't add value to their lives such as "cell phones as big as a door, which are never used to develop the owner's ventures, but to destroy other peoples' businesses".

His views speak to the obtaining situation where social media platforms are used to spread alarm, fear and despondency in the country, mainly regards the economy.

In the second track, "Hura mapako", the lyricist wants parents not to stop expect too much from their children as they have different talents, which might not see them ploughing back to them.

The other track, "Marwadzo Aguma", features Hosiah Chipanga, and urges citizens infected by HIV/ AIDS to religiously take their medicine and not abandon drugs for prayers by "men of the cloth".

He believes only those possessed by evil spirits are candidates for deliverance at churches.

Other tracks are "rufu" featuring Somandla "Mafia" Ndebele; "Mudzimu Wabudirapambeveve" and "Time pusher", in which he warns people to guard against classifying some lovers as time pushers, since more often than not, they up getting married.

Other sungura artistes who have released albums ahead of the festive season include Mberengwa-born Sifelilizwe Shumba, who has named his album "Shumba ye Mberengwa"; Bothwell Mutaku and Sandura Express; Effort Munyaradzi Zingwena and Nsukuzonke Stars; Brain Samaita and Murondatsimba Express.

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