NOBUNTU, the female a capella quintet, will officially unveil their new album titled ‘Obabes beMbube’, this Saturday.
The launch that comes after a successful two-month tour of the United States will be held the National Gallery in Bulawayo.
The group is made up of Thandeka Moyo (Soprano/1st Tenor), Zanele Manhenga (Soprano/Alto), Joyline Sibanda (Alto/tenor), Heather Dube (Alto/tenor/bass) and Duduzile Sibanda (Tenor/baritone/bass).
‘Obabes beMbube’ is Nobuntu’s third studio album.
It builds onto the success of ‘Thina’ and ‘Ekhaya’ that were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
In their latest studio project, Nobuntu offer a bold shift from the previous works that looked at a fusion of afro jazz, a cappella, gospel and traditional folk tracks.
The album name ‘Obabes beMbube’ is slang for ‘young women of mbube’, an assertion of Nobuntu’s position in a genre that is traditionally identified as a male domain.
The title track ‘Obabes beMbube’ sees the artists calling on a radio DJ, who continuously plays a lot of male mbube, to include female mbube on their playlist.
This album was produced by Dumisani Ramadu Moyo, one of the founding members of the internationally acclaimed male mbube trio, Insingizi.
Moyo’s vision was for Nobuntu to create their own signature mbube songs from a female perspective.
Nobuntu’ means ‘mother of ubuntu’ and to promote and preserve ‘ubuntu,’ the group composed a song titled ‘Umusa’ (Kindness).
Umusa recognises the importance of community values, a reminder that when shared values are broken, kindness and care can heal the rifts
The opening track ‘Cula’ (Ndebele for ‘sing’) also celebrates the power of music to heal, inspire and lift the spirits.
Another song ‘Asambeni’ (Let’s go) celebrates life, love and the beauty of nature.
‘Silele’ is a traditional song that pays respect to traditional healers known as sangomas. Sangomas are revered as communicators between the living and ancestral spirits with the power to heal, to appease social disharmony and also bring the rain.
‘Amazing Grace’ features on ‘Obabes beMbube’ complete with sweet layered harmonies and Nobuntu’s unique rendition of lyrics and melody.
The ‘Nobuntu Click Song’ relays the folktale of a frog while focusing on the vocal clicks in the Ndebele language.
The original click song, ‘Qongqothwane’ was performed by Miriam Makeba was sung in Xhosa about a clicking beetle.
The album’s bonus track ‘Town Hall’ was composed by Hilda Buthelezi and originally performed by South Africa’s legendary Mahotella Queens and honours women who, through their strength, and great musical talent, can bring satisfaction to revellers.