Zimbabwe: Ngwazi Spices Sungura With Oriental Flavour

Deputy News Editor

Gifted sungura artiste, Mark Ngwazi, seems to have embraced Government's engagement and re-engagement drive after collaborating with an Indian, Dhyaan Kumar, in a single titled "The Same Again".

It is definitely not one track that will set the dance floors alight given that it does not have the usual generous sections where guitarists show-off their guitar-strumming skills, but the message will resonate with the majority of people that grew up in disadvantaged rural families, while the bling will charm many urbanites that invest a fortune in dressing and vehicles.

The single already has a video, which was been uploaded on YouTube on July 6.

Since then, it has attracted 26 761 views up to 3pm yesterday.

The overwhelming majority of the people who viewed the video gave it the thumbs up.

In the track, Ngwazi -- who has become a recognisable social commentator through music -- goes down memory lane remembering how the "rich" in his area used to look down upon the "have-nots" of society, simply because they owned a scotch cart.

Kumar comes in immediately and says for most of the poor, sadza and chicken soup was a luxury only enjoyed on Christmas Day.

Ngwazi chips in, this time saying the eating of cakes on birthdays only, has now ended as his life has transformed from the struggling rural boy that begged for literally everything.

And to demonstrate that indeed life has changed for him, Ngwazi arrives together with Kumar in a convoy of top vehicle brands, including a Mercedes Benz and a Discovery 4.

The Njanja Express front man, who is dressed to the nines, then emerges from a yellow Hummer 2 while chatting on a mobile phone like a modern boss.

He challenges other people not "to limit your challenges, (but) to challenge your limitations.

"If backgrounds mattered, then some people wouldn't have become doctors in life," singsNgwazi.

In an interview, Ngwazi said he was happy that Kumar could sing in Shona and his language back home.

"He sang both in Shona and an Indian language. For me, it is a marketing strategy, so that people in his country following him will start to appreciate Zimbabwe's sungura, which some people say is now in the past.

"But more importantly, singing with Kumar is my own way as an artiste of ensuring that there are good relations between Zimbabwe and India.

"We released the video and uploaded it on YouTube, but we haven't taken it to radio stations. That would be done soon."

In an interview, Kumar said he met Ngwazi through a family friend, Jayesh Desai.

Kumar said when Ngwazi approached him, the initial plan was to have him as an actor, and not a singer, in the video.

"After some time, I told him that I am also a singer and sent him songs that I have done before. Mark was very fascinated and inspired and he then said we should collaborate.

"However, he then said it could be impossible since he is a sungura musician, and I told him that it was not a problem since sungura is highly regarded in Zimbabwe."

Born in Zimbabwe in 1991, Kumar is a model, an actor and singer.

But he has a full time job as general manager for MattressFurn based in Borrowdale, Harare.

In 2016 and 2018, Kumar came out as Mr Zimbabwe runner up in the Zimbabwe Model Awards while last year, he was voted the best actor in the same awards.

On his part, Ngwazi is regarded by many as the future of sungura music if he keeps his feet on the ground.

His last album released on November 25 last year, which was his fifth, is titled "Chamugwegwedu Chamatindike" and it considerably raised his profile.

A video of one of the tracks, "Taurai Madzoka", has left a mark among many people, including youths who have previously not followed sungura.

It is largely the part that he sings in English saying "don't blame people for disappointing you, blame yourself for trusting them", that is adored by many.

As of yesterday, the video to "Taurai Madzoka" had 1 084 994 views on YouTube, since December 14, 2020 when it was posted.

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