By Njabulo Dlamini | 2018-08-11
There is a quote by a great writer who said that if you want to take a walk, go at it alone but if you want to undertake a journey, then rope in someone else and this would be enjoyable.
That is the attitude best demonstrated by siblings; Thulani and Gcinimuzi of the renowned mbhaqanga outfit Mamba Brothers from Mbabala area in the Shiselweni region.
They have demonstrated their hunger and zeal to delight the masses by releasing their second offering titled Sasho Semuka. Remember, they debuted with Izinto Zabantu last year which delighted many mbhaqanga music lovers who were left in awe by the quality work of emitted by the just emerged talent.
The latest album is a 10-track offering and cements the group as one of those to look out for in the mbhaqanga music fold.
That they have defied the usual phenomenon of siblings often on a collision course should signal that this outfit is on another level. They have effortlessly and meticulously combined their talent to the production of a beautiful sound unknown in this era. You would swear they have been in the game for some time with their sound, when this is not true.
“Even when we tried to rope in talent from outside the Mamba family, we failed. This explains why to this day, it is the two of us doing most of the dirty work i.e. composing and arranging tracks in the albums released. We are hoping to change this in the not so distant future though by adding in fresh voices to the music of Mamba Brothers,” Gcina says.
Just like true patriotic people, the brothers are looking at hosting a free-for-all show in their home area dubbed ‘Homecoming’ at the end of this month.
The album kicks off with the title track Sasho Semuka. The influence from their role models is telling as the duo delivers this song.
Next up is Wena wavuma, another one that leaves you marvelling at the talent of the siblings.
A hilarious one is Gcinimuzi; dedicated to the younger sibling of the two (Gcina) who could not help laughing incessantly when asked the motivation behind this track. It was about meant to celebrate ingenuity in the Mamba family fold, so they say.
With every release, the brothers ensure to include one or more gospel motivated tracks as they say their talent is attributable to the Mighty Being of them all; God. It demonstrates solid upbringing in godly principles by them. The latest album is no different too. That’s why you have tracks like uSawula wayecondeni and Inhliziyo Yami in the new album dedicated to celebrating being immersed in godly principles by the duo.
There are others like; Wawumuhle, Ifu elimnyama, Asiwona amazimu, Nabongwane and Ngangimthanda.
The thrust behind composition of songs in the album, explained Gcina, is to share with the listener everyday experiences they undergo or come across in this life.
“The songs communicate love, sadness and grief in like measure so the listener gets to know our feelings during the composition stage. We also convey what befell us in this lifetime as we tread along it,” Gcina add.
The challenge for them, which they both alluded to, is the financial backing and the much needed exposure so they perform at such stages as the International Trade Fair and other Swatini Arts and Music Association (SWAMA) hosted events. Fortunately, they are members of the music association and so wish it received financial backing so that it was in a position to assist artists in their endeavour to record their music and enhance their careers.
Rather hilariously, one of their uncles, Malume Mngadi, asked them to compose a song about him and the duo relented.
This track talks about how the uncle harasses and intimates his nephews each time he has had one too many, leading to them fleeing the maternal home. When the uncle sobers up, however, he would call for his nephews.
“We were left confused as to the character of our uncle but nonetheless realised that he meant well for us as sons to his sister,” they said.
In conclusion, the siblings paid glowing tribute to Mgavuza (Mbabane and Manzini) as well as Five to Five Record Bar in Manzini for taking in their music for dissemination to the masses despite Mamba Brothers being a just emerged talent in the country.
Elder sibling Thulani;
It is not difficult to work with Gcina because we understand each other. We rhyme well in our compositions and are able to navigate difficult situations for the group’s benefit. That Gcina is younger than me is immaterial, because it is all about the passion we are pursuing so everything else is secondary.
For the record, Gcina identified the producer and ensured our work was recorded. I respected this rather than point out issues of being the elder sibling and thus better placed to direct the path or determine which route our career should take.
Gcina on uniting with elder sibling;
The difference in age group is not manifest when rendering our music or during the composition stage.
One is motivated by the desire to share with the masses our creative instincts rather than to prove superiority or being gifted over the other.
Mutual respect is important though as we work on our music so that in the rare instance where a difference of opinion comes up, both of us are free to express ourselves on issues concerning the growth of our music without age coming into play.
Because our fans had been pestering us for a second album, we believe this is the perfect answer to their requests.
In conclusion, the duo pleaded with SWAMA for more support so they are included in shows or stages meant to promote Mamba Brothers music.
This and that;
n Mamba Brothers duo hails from Mbabala area in the Shiselweni region
n They started their mbhaqanga singing career past-time in 1986 and never took it seriously until mid-2000s.
n Purchased their first keyboard in 2006, which was regrettably sold without having been used that much owing to difficult circumstances they faced at the time.
n Migrated to maternal home of Kwaluseni in search of jobs in the late 90s.
n Breakthrough came when the younger sibling of the duo Gcina met Bheki Zikalala who was to later assist Mamba Brothers record their debut album in 2017.
n Duo credits Makutululu Tsabedze (bass guitarist) and Bheki Zikalala (producer) who have stood by them thus far.
n Pays glowing tribute to their mother Lilly Vilakati and uncles for supporting them in their careers.
n Mamba Brothers are influenced by the music of Madlala Brothers, Bangani, Thisha and the mighty mbhaqanga music legends Soul Brothers.
n Will soon be releasing DVD comprising their double albums.
n Wish to perform at the Eswatini International Trade Fair organised by SIPA.
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