By Loveness Nyathi
WORLD travelled all-female imbube group, Nobuntu is back with their third album, Obabes beMbube, which once again highlights the vocal talents of the group’s five members.
Nobuntu’s album shows heightened maturity in their musical journey as they use their voices to produce captivating original compositions that are set to leave an indelible mark on listeners.
The outfit uses the Imbube (acappella) genre to give social commentary on spiritual matters, community and national unity, championing African cultural heritage, recreating traditional songs and tackling religious issues in their music.
The twelve track album is a follow up to their first two albums, Thina and Ekhaya which were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
“Obabes beMbube” opens with a composition by Zanele Manhenga, Cula, a track that talks about the soothing feelings that music brings over a person, as they urge people to find refuge in song in difficult times.
Manhenga also composed Avumile and the Nobuntu click Song while Heather Dube wrote Umusa and Umalusi with Joyline Sibanda coming up with Hossana and Duduzile Sibanda composing Ilanga and Uyangiphoxa. Asambeni was originated by Thandeka Moyo the fifth member of the group.
The album’s producer, Dumisani Ramadu Moyo of Insingizi Emnyama fame composed the title track, Obabes beMbube while Hwabaraty re-arranged a traditional song, Silele and Nobuntu rearranged the traditional gospel tune, Amazing Grace.
The album has a bonus track, Town Hall by the revered South African group, Mahotela Queens.
Obabes beMbube, the album, exudes musical maturity and tell of a group that is digging deeper within their music wells giving the music spirituality and richness that reaches the inner depths of the soul.
Ilanga encourages one to work hard and not sit on their laurels while uMusa (kindness) encourages people to share kindness and love in everyday situations so that these social virtues become part and parcel of life.
Hossana is a song that exalts the Lord giving praises to a worthy God while denigrating and rebuking the devil. Nobuntu Click song is based on word play of Ndebele clicks while narrating a folktale and the title song (Nobuntu’s other name bestowed on them by fans) celebrates women Imbube singers as the field is traditionally a male field.
The album is produced by 10th District Music and is set to be unveiled at a show at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo next Saturday.
Nobuntu are festival favourites both in Zimbabwe and Europe and were nominated for the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in Musician of the Year 2015 Category. They recently completed a USA tour in 2018 and will be returning to USA in 2019.