Kuimba 8 – Same Old

Black Missionaries have ushered their audience Kuimba 8, a continuation of a journey started by founder Evison Matafale in form of Kuimba 1.
When Matafale fell, Msamude took over and until his fall as well, he ruled the dancehall with command.
Now, after the death of the two, the Black Missionaries remnants have done two Kuimba albums.
There is a danger though in the way the albums have come…Listening to them, one would not ask any questions at all but conclude that it is Black Missionaries.
This is where a line is cut between the Matafale/Msamude led Black Missionaries and the one led by Anjiru.
There is a feeling with the current Blacks not attempting to stir very far away from their traditional songs.
When you are listening to the tracks from a distance where you are missing out on what the lyrics are saying, you are bound to think this is one of the many old tracks from the blacks.
And yet these are the new songs that are same old, same old.
One thing that is very clear is the clinging to the template that Matafale and later, Msamude created.
Anjiru and kid brother Chizondi, Peter Amidu and brothers Takudziwani and Paul Chokani need to rethink their future with the forthcoming Kuimba albums.
This is the time to dismantle the Matafale/Msamude template and come up with their creativity.
All what is happening now is that they sit down and think of lyrics but when these are mixed with the instrumentation their work is done.
Debate is currently hot on whether Kuimba 8 has reached the mark or is below par. I would not to be a judge but I could look at some related elements.
Everyone who is religious about the Black Chileka boys with a musical mission will still argue that my observations are over sumptuous. I think this would be so, owing to the magical pull that the Blacks have whenever they have organised their shows.
But why people will still flock to Black Missionaries performances is more to do with their pedigree that separates them from the inferior performers, than it has to do with whether they are progressive musically or not.
Let’s look at Evison Matafale:
‘Wolakwa Ndani’ track in Kuimba 2 begins with rallying sound that is ensconced in continuous shedding of sound of lyrics, bass line with a percussive striking of hit-hat and ride cymbal and all this before it switches to the main body with the rit-rit-tat reggae complimented with strong lyrical content.
‘Nkhawa bi’ I am not sure if this is the correct track title, but I am sure that others argue that it is not reggae because of the inter-twining that goes on between lead and bass guitars and continuous exchange of hit-hat, bass pedalling and cymbal.
Compare ‘Malawi’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Wolenga Dzuwa’, ‘Step Down Babylon’, ‘Waseseleka’, ‘Yang’ana Nkhope’, ‘Time Mark’, ‘Some Where or No Where’ ‘Nkhowe’, ‘Umafuna Zambiri’ ‘We are Chosen’, ‘Timba’ and ‘International Reggae’ and you will appreciate how diverse these songs are.
This diverse in Kuimba 1 and 2 is what is completely missing in the songs of the current Black Missionaries.
Kuimba3 led by Msamude with some tracks like ‘Oweluza’, ‘Pobwera Mfumu’, ‘Mungazalangidwe’, ‘Reggae Music High’, ‘Mukanandifunsa’, ‘Undikonde’ ‘Police Hunt Matafale’, ‘Babylon System’, ‘Papita Nthawi’.
Then Kuimba 4 still led by Msamude which had tracks like ‘Rastaman’s Wife’, ‘Angathe’, ‘Ndamusowa’, ‘Never get Weary’, ‘ Akanaziwa’, ‘Alamulire’, ‘Wabwino’, ‘We are the Rastas’, ‘Sapita nawo’ and ‘Mwana wa Munthu’.
Followed obviously was Kuimba 5 with tracks that I am not sure of the real title tracks like ‘Lift up your Voice’, ‘Ndiuze Zoona’, ‘Sindingaiwale(Musandiweruze)’, ‘Mthunzi wa imfa’, I am not sure I can keep guessing the track titles.
Finally for Msamude was Kuimba 6 where he did tracks like one that mentions ‘Milungu yakufa’, ‘Yehova Alinafe’, ‘Tazungulira’, ‘Ndimati ndigone’ is one track I am not sure of the title but this is among many where a declaration is made that Matafale opened a door of success.
In the same album there is a track ‘Salimo’ and Msamude’s parting shot ‘Tigwire Ntchito’.
After the death of Msamude a demarcation was now marked.
Kuimba 7 with ‘Dalo’ ‘Nzakwera m’mwamba’,
In Kuimba 7 there is one ‘Wokondedwa’ or ‘Pepa’ I am not sure of the right title track. This particular track showed some courageous attempt that is required in all the tracks.
‘Sanafe’, ‘Oliver’, ‘Anditenga’, ‘Noah’ in Kuimba 8 are latest tracks from Black Missionaries but are very common songs from them.
Check how the tracks ‘Anditenga’ in Kuimba 8 and ‘Pepa’ in Kuimba 7 begin.
One good day, sit down and listen to the music from Kuimba 1 up to Kuimba 8; without doubt you will create your opinion that will make you plead and remind these guys it’s time to engage another gear.
Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com


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