ON Friday, Jeys Marabini launched his ninth album, solidifying his standing as one of the most accomplished and consistent musicians that Zimbabwe has produced.
It has been a long journey in the world of music for the lanky musicians, a journey filled with the highs and lows that one would expect from such a lengthy career.
It is a career that gave birth to nine albums and like a proud father Jeys has a story to tell about all his offspring. Sunday Life sat down with him and he spoke candidly about his family of albums.
This is the album that propelled me to stardom. The album was called Emarabini and it was so popular that wherever I went people started calling me Marabini. Most people don’t know that my name was not Marabini initially. I used to call myself Jeys and Kozekulunge but because of the popularity of that album I got myself a stage name.
My music is not marabi. On that album I had made a song by that name about the flamboyant dressing that one would see in the 60s and 70s (emarabini). The video for that song won us many awards and that’s something that I’ve always been grateful for in my career.
Thuthuka Ngothando (2003)
Then came the album called Thuthukani Ngothando. It had songs like Kill and Go and Nkomo Zamalobolo. That album enabled people to see that I’m really an artiste committed to making original music and not another fly by night musician.
Sound of Today and Tomorrow (2004)
This is the album I made with the intention of highlighting the plight of women. At the time there were concerted efforts to make sure that the abuse of woman and girls was brought to light. It was a really hot topic and I wanted to add my voice.
Jeys Marabini One Time (2006)
This album has a special place in my heart because it’s where you find one of my most culturally relevant songs. The song titled Ezinangeni was all about encouraging Zimbabweans to keep and preserve their culture. I felt that we had lost our way and that album would help reassert our values. On that album I’m just tapping our people on the shoulder and reminding them of the customs and dances that they seem eager to abandon.
In the album called Izenzo I featured the late Nana Coyote formerly of Istimela. This was another collaboration that warmed my heart and whenever I play that album it reminds me of him. It takes me back to this one time when I was playing at Rainbow Hotel and the legend fell in love with my music. After I was done with my performance he came to me and said I should come and record with him in South Africa. He said my music was refined but I wouldn’t get recognition for it if I didn’t feature any big names. I was so proud to have one of the legends of African music featured on my album and compliment what I do.
Jeys @40 (2011)
Jeys at 40 was one of my most loved albums. If you look at a song like Yamitha Kanjani, it still gets requested a lot of years after it was released. If you listen to our radio stations like Skyz Metro you’ll get to understand the impact that song has even up to today. That album also came after a great tragedy for me. My parents died in an accident and it was a really challenging time for me personally. As an artiste you tell people about your pain through music and that’s why on that album you’ll find a song called Ukufa which was a dedication to my parents. I guess at that time my parents’ passing was God’s will but it was still painful nonetheless.
This was an album that I dedicated to my uncle Mjajeli. I did this because I wanted to recognise his efforts in trying to bring our great and vast family together. He has always wanted us to be together as a family and from nieces to aunts and uncles, he always brings us together as one big family. That’s why I dedicated the title track to him because I recognise the role that he plays. He’s also someone that has helped me a lot in life. I’m where I am because of his help.
Thula Sana (2016)
Thula Sana was popular in its own right especially the song called Nkunzi Emnyama. That song found support with people because it’s very educational. That is something that you found a lot on that particular album.
Ntunja mbila (2018)
This album is my thank you note to the people. I’ve been in the music industry for 28 years and I’ve had my ups and downs.
I’m proud of the people that have stuck with me over the years and I’m also proud of the fact that they have given up on me.
The album was launched at a colourful ceremony in Bulawayo on Friday, where who is who in the entertainment industry came through to show support.