Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
REMEMBER popular South African maskandi musician Khulekani Mseleku Khumalo, popularly known as Mgqumeni.
Mgqumeni, who died in 2009, has resurrected in Victoria Falls, not through an imposter as once happened in South Africa a few years ago when a man who now languishes in jail claimed to have returned from the grave, but through some youths who are rocking the music circles with maskandi music fit enough to suit the late hero’s incarnation.
Brian Gwazwayo Mpofu and Musawenkosi Vundla have collaborated to market their maskandi albums which they released separately and are now a hit at parties and weddings.
Gwazwayo originally from BH 10 in Monde and Vundla, a prophet, both said they are inspired by Mgqumeni as well as another late maskandi hero Mtshengiseni “Ndidane” Gcwensa who died in July 2015. Gwazwayo’s album Udlalile Ngami has 12 tracks and he jointly released it with Stanley Mtshana Nkomo as AmaVIP while Vundla released Ithemba Lami with his younger brother Talent Mvundla as a group called Onogwatsha Abamhlophe.
Gwazwani recently released a single Viva NgeZanu-PF, a praise piece for the ruling party and also an appeal to youths to register to vote. Unlike South African maskandi musicians who wouldn’t see eye to eye and taunt each other, Gwazwayo and Vundla said their goal is to promote and preserve local culture through maskandi music.
“I started in 2012 with Thabathani Ncube of Plumtree. In 2016 I worked with Abafana BakaMzilikazi and that’s when I met Mtshana and we formed AmaVIP. We released the album Udlalile Ngami with songs Salibonani, Udlalile ngami, Nomatter Wami, Abafana benyawupho, Abaculi bangakithi, Mzala wami, Ngizamela abantwabami, Igazi lemvana, Bayajabula, Yithi inkunzi eFolosi and Ukufa,” said Gwazwani.
He released the single Viva Zanu-PF in February and the song is now popular with youths in the resort town.
“I noticed that since we are going towards elections my role as a youth could be to encourage my age mates to register to vote, not forgetting to remind everyone that Zanu-PF is the party that has people at heart.
“Nomatter wami is about a woman who patiently waits for her husband who leaves her to go to South Africa where he settles down with another woman but welcomes him when he returns after many years. The song is an opposite of Udlaile ngami which talks about a cheating spouse,” said Gwazwani who said all his life he grew up listening to Mgqumeni and Mtshengiseni’s music.
He said he wants to make maskandi popular. Vundla said maskandi music will help uplift the diverse culture of Matabeleland.
“This is our original genre as the people of Matabeleland. I am a prophet, I also pray and fast for our music. God gave us talents and as a prophet I am not leaving my church calling but I am developing my talent in music. I am planning to release a solo album called Ithwasa LikaVundla which I have already finished working on,” he said.
Vundla’s albums has songs like Dlozi lami khanyisa, Ubaba angimazi, Impilo Iyajika mama wabantwabami and Mbulali. Gwazwani and Vundla are planning to open a maskandi studio in Victoria Falls.