“Ingwe Idla Ngamabala” by Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje / Space Queens - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1968Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

Despite being a split LP, “Ingwe idla Ngamabala” still qualifies for the “A-list” chart as there’s enough new material from one group – Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje (8 tracks) to justify the status. The LP compiles recent single sides, at least 4 of which have been identified as having been released in 1967. The rise and rise of South Africa’s electric jive scene continued for many years from the early-60s to the late 70s, and was evolving with battlegrounds left, right and centre. Rupert Bopape’s success with Mahotella Queens and Dark City Sisters at Mavuthela spurred on Hamilton Nzimande’s rival production stable, Isibaya Esikhulu. Historian Nick Lotay, as ever, offers some terrific insight: “Nzimande carefully cultivated a hugely successful roster of excellent female vocalists, instrumental players, composers and arrangers. Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje was Nzimande's first major success. The girl group, which eventually became a vehicle for the raspy crooning of lead singer Sannah Mnguni, rose so high in prominence until the popularity battle was dominated only by two groups – itself and the Mahotella Queens. Both groups were capable of attracting a staggeringly phenomenal amount of fans who clamoured to township halls, theatres and football stadiums just to see the beautiful voices in person. Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje was supported by the excellent Saul Tshabalala as their groaner and Abafana Bentuthuko, the backing band led by the highly innovative Hansford Mthembu. The sounds that these ensembles made constitute some of the most delightful, energetic and exuberant music ever put down on record. Repetitive, repeated cycles of electrifying, lilting guitar hooks; superb female harmonies that alternated between smooth blended chorus to brazen wailing; and a solo lead male assuredly bellowing his way through the tunes. Girl groups and mbaqanga music became synonymous as the style ultimately became black South Africa's own answer to the Motown sound for a period of nearly twenty years.”

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:55] 8.7.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Ingwe Idla Ngamabala (?) Africana
A2 [02:10] 7.1.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Shela Wethu (?) Africana
A3 [02:04] 9.3.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Isinkwa Nobanana (?) Africana
A4 [02:18] 7.5.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Siy’ Emshadweni (?) Africana
A5 [02:49] 6.2.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Indandato (?) Africana
A6 [02:17] 8.4.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Sizoni Dlalela (?) Africana
B1 [02:36] 7.8.png Space Queens - Siyo Ba Bamba (?) Africana
B2 [02:35] 9.1.png Space Queens - Sesi Ngenile (?) Africana
B3 [02:16] 7.2.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Sesi Yeza (?) Africana
B4 [02:51] 7.1.png Space Queens - Jabulani Nonke (?) Africana
B5 [02:27] 7.0.png Space Queens - Sivela Pesheya (?) Africana
B6 [02:30] 8.6.png Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje - Isalukwazi (?) Africana
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