“Siya Emshadweni” by Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1973Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Just as they did in 1968, Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje (The Now Now Girls) effortlessly breeze into my Top 10 albums of the year, although I should point out they are greatly assisted by some terrific male groaners, a formula which has been working wonders for many of the South African jive recordings of the recent years. As always, they are led by Hamilton Nzimande’s Isibaya Esikhulu production stable, and backed by the Gramophone Record Company. Clearly, this stable knows its business well – only the previous year they had been rocked by a mutiny, which left only one of the girls – Jane Dlami – standing. In no time at all, Nzimande hustled and re-recruited, bringing original member Nobesuthu Shawe back in to the fold, and adding others including Ruth Mafuxwana and Lindiwe Mthembu. The album kicks-off majestically with the title-track, “Siya Emshadweni”, which is not to be confused with their similarly titled single from several years previously. Apparently, they are going to a wedding. I don’t let that put me off though – those vocals are positively anthemic and stir my soul. Male vocalist Mthunzi Malinga plays a blinder here. Side 1 is by far the stronger – the first five tracks turn out to be my five favourite tracks. “Ziyathuthuka Izintombi” is next – it skips, stomps and rolls its rhythms in a way which is impossible to ignore; involuntary hipsway and headnod is an inevitability. Third track in, the foot-tapping “Siya Eswazini”, keeps up the high standard, although it’s a complete musical culling of Mahlathini’s “Shwele Baba” of 1972. The Mahlathini-esque groaner serves to cement the cheekiness. Completely different again is the fantastic “Udumbe Dumbe” which seems to have about 4 alternating male vocals. The drums on this one are also terrific, they really march and roll. Alas, the intense excitement is not maintained all the way, otherwise this may have been my album of the year, but there’s not a weak track on this fine LP. You can read more about it and download a copy from Electric Jive.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:58] 9.7.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Siya Emshadweni (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
A2 [03:04] 8.4.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Ziyathuthuka Izintombi (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
A3 [02:26] 8.0.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Siya Eswazini (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
A4 [02:50] 7.8.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Niyaphi Zintombi (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
A5 [03:06] 8.1.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Udumbe Dumbe (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
A6 [03:13] 6.9.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Sicela Indlela (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
B1 [02:42] 7.4.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Kwakhala Ubunqayinqayi (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
B2 [02:32] 7.4.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Siya Kwa Mzilikazi (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
B3 [02:50] 6.8.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Lwasha Uphuthu (S. Msibi) Africana
B4 [02:36] 7.1.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Uzokuwa (S. Msibi) Africana
B5 [02:51] 6.9.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Vula Nzimande (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
B6 [02:21] 7.0.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Ubaba Wangishiya (Hamilton Nzimande) Africana
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