“Gwindingwi Rine Shumba” by Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - album review

TJR says

1978s “Hokoyo!” was brilliant but this post-independence follow-up was on another level again; smoother, prettier, more hypnotic and bursting out with joyous, almost celebratory, horn lines, with guitar as mbira, again, the main order of the day. The set was produced and recorded at Shed Studios, Harare, engineered by Bothwell Nyamhondera. The Blacks Unlimited on this occasion line-up: Jonah Sithole (guitar); Leonard 'Pickett' Chiyangwa (guitar); Charles Mayana (bass); Sebastian Ferado (drums); Everson Chibamu trumpet), Temba Ncube (trumpet) as well as an unknown South African saxophonist. All tracks were written by Thomas himself, with the album title, “Gwindingwi Rine Shumba”, translating as “Lion In The Bush”. The shortened title of “Shumba”, in fact, is the opening song on the LP and features the lyric “Gwindingwi rine shumba inoruma kuza ngoma” (The thick black forest has a killer lion—beat the drum). Despite the allegorical language, this is clearly an intimidating song of war. The villagers are encouraged not to have loose tongues; in these times you never know who might be listening. “Mhondoro”, my favourite on side one, seems to have plenty mentions for Zimbabwe, and I’ve read that the Shona people have a spirit called a “Mhondoro” meaning both lion and Guardian spirit of a tribe. The “Mhondoro” oversees a region and their general purpose is to oversee the overall welfare of the people of that region – including ensuring the fall of adequate rainfall. My favourite track on side two is “Chitima Cherusununguko”, which seems to be celebrating the fact that Mugabe is now driving the freedom train. Enjoy it while it lasts Thomas.

The Jukebox Rebel
25-May-2012


A1 [05:07] 8.2.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Shumba (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana
A2 [04:51] 9.4.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Hwa-Hwa [1981 song] (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana
A3 [05:05] 9.6.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Mhondoro (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana
A4 [06:06] 5.7.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Tinondanana (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana
B1 [05:02] 8.7.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Nzwananai (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana
B2 [05:08] 8.0.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Rita (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana
B3 [05:28] 9.8.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Chitima Cherusununguko (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana
B4 [04:06] 8.5.png Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited - Zimbabwe Yevatema (Thomas Mapfumo) Africana




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