A powerful celebration of thrilling energy and melodious voices and rhythms from Zimbabwe and Southern Africa
Zimbabwe’s multi award winning group IYASA presents powerful traditional songs, melodious voices (singing in Ndebele, Kalanga and Shona) and pounding southern African rhythms. Their new LP “African Homeland: Voices and rhythms from Zimbabwe and Southern Africa” is a powerful celebration of the thrilling energy and melodious voices and rhythms from Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.
The music expresses and presents the beauty, colour and the genuine traditional and original menu of musical heritage from Africa.
The talented performers with their vibrant and dynamic voices will sweep you off your feet, set your imagination free and move your soul with a true but heart-throbbing African experience. It is an experience that takes you to the African Homeland.
IYASA is a Zimbabwe’s multi award winning performing arts school for young people. The school supports and promotes the best interests of young musicians, dancers, actors and poets. The school which was established in 2001 has now become a resource centre for most established and upcoming artists, especially musicians, singers, and dancers.
IYASA is based in Zimbabwe’s cultural capital city of Bulawayo which is also known as the City of Kings. The school boasts a highly talented and committed full time team of skilled and highly trained artists in music, dance, drama and poetry.
This new LP contains 14 songs covering various themes. The first track, “Sqomana Sodwa” (We Love One Another) celebrates the beauty of Africa and its people. Its melody is based on clicks; hence it is a “click song” too. It says that Africa is the land of our ancestors and has beautiful mountains and valleys. It also says that people fall in love and they do not fight among each other, hence the joy of being African.
“Siyalibingelela” (We Greet You) is a song of greeting. It is a song underlining the importance of greeting. It says that despite the different languages people still understand a greeting and the shortest way to their hearts is to greet them in their languages. The melody of the song gives it a dance feeling while the chorus word “Bana” which means “people” sets the rhythm of the song. At the end of the song different voices greet each other in different languages spanning the world.
“Amazulu” (The Zulus) is a praise song in honour of King Tshaka or Shaka Zulu as he is popularly known. He led the Zulus in South Africa, conquering many other states and he built a huge empire. This song is a praise song for him and his warriors and their heroism. It includes praise poetry in the same historic way his praise poets would shower him with praise.
“Ihondo” (War) is a song about war. The song says that war brought about hunger and famine and people had to eat Chikundamoyo (yellow maize meal). In southern Africa white maize meal is more common and people saw this yellow maize meal brought in by aid organizations as a bad omen and called it Chikundamoyo literally meaning “deappetizer” because they did not like its taste. In additional lyrics the song calls upon liberation heroes such as Joshua Nkomo (Zimbabwe), Steve Biko (South Africa), Walter Sesulu (South Africa) and Nelson Mandela (South Africa) to answer the people’s call, stand up and liberate them from war and in turn Chikundamoyo.
In the song “Ijongosi” (The Maiden), using the tune of a traditional war chant, a warrior praises his maiden love who is now pregnant and together with other warriors he celebrates the fact that he will be a father soon. The song also emphasizes the importance of women in our society because they bring more than just joy - in fact they bring life. “Respect the girl child, she is very important to the world,” the song says.
“Helele Mama” (Oh Mama) is a song dedicated to all child soldiers in the world inspired by a true life story of a former Ugandan child soldier China Keitetsi. The song laments the abuse of these children and their loss of childhood to greedy politicians and also names other child soldiers she met and names and shames some of those that abused her and other soldiers.
The LP has been produced by ARC Music and is available in all music stores. You can also obtain a copy from this link: http://www.arcmusic.co.uk/