Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje

South Africa Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje

Album’s Overview
#? album-art-n-a.jpg 1967 [?, ??:??] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje (CBS ‎LAB-4003) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-space-queens-ingwe-idla-ngamabala.jpg 1968 [12, 29:48] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje / Space Queens - Ingwe Idla Ngamabala (CBS ‎LAB-4005) studio split • new music compilation 7.83 “Brilliant” Africana
#? album-art-n-a.jpg 1968 [?, ??:??] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Kajeno (CBS ‎LAB-4018) studio • new music
#? album-art-n-a.jpg 1971 [?, ??:??] Zesi Manje Manje - Laduma (CBS ‎LAB-4027) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-siya-emshadweni.jpg 1973 [12, 33:29] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Siya Emshadweni (CBS ‎LAB-4042) studio • new music 7.63 “Brilliant” Africana
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-nomali.jpg 1974 [12, 38:16] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Nomali (Masterpiece Records LMS-501) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-south-africa-good-hits.jpg 1975 [10, ??:??] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - South Africa Good Hits (OTF LP-006) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-iminyaka-kayifani.jpg 1976 [12, ??:??] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Iminyaka Kayifani (Masterpiece Records LMS-529) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-ho-buoa-morena.png 1976 [?, ??:??] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Ho Buoa Morena (Masterpiece Records LMS-531) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-isitha-sami-nguwe.jpg 1976 [12, 38:33] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Isitha Sami Nguwe (Masterpiece Records) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-ujabulisa-abantu.jpg 1978 [12, 36:10] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Ujabulisa Abantu (Masterpiece Records LMS-535) studio • new music 7.03 “Really good” Africana
#? album-art-n-a.jpg 1979 [?, ??:??] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Boraditaba (CBS Records MS-195-2947) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-ha-ke-dikela.jpg 1979 [10, 32:17] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Ha Ke Dikela (Masterpiece Records LMS-539) studio • new music
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-umuntu-othulile.jpg 1979 [10, 32:04] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Umuntu Othulile (Masterpiece Records LMS-541) studio • new music 6.60 “Good” Africana
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-izenzo-zakho.jpg 1979 [12, 39:06] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Izenzo Zakho (Masterpiece Records LMS-544) studio • new music
#? smodern-girls-unina-kavusi.jpg 1980 [10, 35:35] S’modern Girls - Unina Kavusi (Umjondolo ‎LJD-30) studio • new music 6.31 “Decent enough” Africana
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-makoti-wakena.jpg 1980 [10, 30:15] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Makoti Wakena (Umjondolo ‎LJD-31) studio • new music 7.01 “Really good” Africana
#? izintombi-zesi-manje-manje-umahlongwane.jpg 1981 [?, ??:??] Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Umahlongwane (Gramophone LZG-49) studio • new music
#? isigqi-sesimanjemanje-lomculo-unzima.jpg 1992 [8, 36:38] Isigqi Sesimanjemanje - Lomculo Unzima (Africa ‎AFRLP-029) studio • new music
#? album-art-n-a.jpg 1994 [?, ??:??] Izintombi Zesimanje - Sebenza Ntokazi (Kariba Records ZERH-2077) studio • new music
date.png 16-May-2016
notes.png Unable to complete. I’m resigned to defeat! The internet refuses to reveal the secrets of Izintombi’s recording output…


Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje is a group that needs little introduction to regular EJ visitors. It is a name that conjures up the classic sights and sounds of mbaqanga’s heyday - the quick-tempo jive music, the line-up of girls swaying to the beat, the groaner cutting through the atmosphere with his gruff voice. Then there were the "forgotten" parts of Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje’s career… the fusion of soul into their mbaqanga stylings in the late 1970s. Hamilton Nzimande, talent scout at EMI, was promoted to the highest position - producer - after his boss Rupert Bopape was enticed by Gallo to lead their new African music operation in 1964. Nzimande took over as the man behind the Dark City Sisters and the Flying Jazz Queens until 1967.

Gramophone Record Company (GRC), a subsidiary of CBS, started up a new black music production company for which Nzimande became the new producer. The company was named Isibaya Esikhulu and was intent on challenging the crown held by Gallo’s Mavuthela Music. The monarchs of Gallo-Mavuthela were the Mahotella Queens, the country’s most popular female group at the time. In a shrewd move, Nzimande lured several of the Queens away from Gallo-Mavuthela and into Isibaya Esikhulu with the offer of more money. The early line-up included Nunu Maseko, Windy Sibeko, Thopi Mnguni, and the lead vocals of Sannah Mnguni, but the more memorable line-up stabilised in 1971: Jane Dlamini, Lindiwe Mthembu, Nobesuthu Shawe, Hilda Tloubatla and Ruth Mafuxwane. Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje were neck-and-neck with the Mahotella Queens and managed to regularly topple them for a while in the early 1970s.

The split LP with Space Queens, "Ingwe idla Ngamabala", from 1968, gives a wonderful summary of their late 1960s formative material. 1979’s "Umuntu Othulile" likewise offers a wonderful summary, this time of the late 1970s, at a time when the legendary Soul Brothers (perhaps the "male equivalent" of Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje) were ruling supreme, and all-female line-ups were beginning to move out of the limelight. While the 1960s material will always be classic, there are some real gems on their 1979 record. Only a handful of Izintombi’s recordings are available to purchase, and those that are available are hardly a sampler for this great band’s best material - even their "Best of" collection omits the classic, high-selling 1970s material, focusing only on the modern early 1980s sounds - but there’s no doubt theirs was a wonderful musical career.

Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje (The modern girls), found it hard-going to sustain their sound and popularity with the onslaught of disco and (later on) bubblegum music in the early-to-mid 1980s. Izintombi succumbed and disbanded in 1985. The central figure of the group, vocalist Jane Dlamini, took the decision to regroup with three of its former members around 1988, renaming themselves Isigqi Sesimanjemanje (The Modern Sound), splitting with long term producer Hamilton Nzimande and teaming up with West Nkosi.

Nick Lotay
Electric Jive external-link.png
© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved