A duet with Majaivana is still possible: Interview With Albert Nyathi
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Who is Albert Nyathi the Man and also the musician?
Albert Nyathi - born in Kafusi, Gwanda and grew up both in rural Gwanda and Bulawayo. He is married to Caroline. Has 3 kids, one girl and two boys.
Do you have a group or you are a solo artist?
The group is called Imbongi Jazz. However, because I am a poet, sometimes I am invited as a solo artist to perform in festivals, private and public functions, festivals - locally, in the region and abroad. The group is also capable of playing on its own, locally and in the region. Lately they have been playing, thru invitations, in Botswana and South Africa.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Genre - a fusion of Ndebele and Zulu traditional beats and poetry.
Who are your major influences?
Influences - Lovemore Majaivana, Tuku and Mbongeni Ngema as well as M. Jackson.
What inspired you to be a musician?
Inspiration - Partly the above mention and partly the situation around me, then and now.
Out of all your performances which one do you consider the best ever?
Best performance. Well they are plenty, but Hawaii Mellenium Young People's Congress, (Honolulu) in 1999 was one of my best and memorable one.
Which songs do you perform most frequently?
Songs frequently performed and loved by people: My Daughter, Senzeni Na?, Iphi Inkosi uMzilikazi.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Themes: Mainly social, really socio-economic
Do you think these topics will change over time?
Yes one hopes that whatever one performs with passion, should be able to impact on people's lives, and hopefully influnce the people to change for the better, with time.
What has been your biggest challenge as a musician?
Biggest challenge has been that my dreams are still far from being fulfilled. When I started I thought by now I would have had 500 plus cattle through poetry and music, lots of goats etc but it all is still average. I am a common town villager, but that still is cool. One of my dreams is that at least one of my children should have a PHD.
How do you think these challenges can be overcome?
I will overcome these challenges through perververence. Look, my father and mother have been working hard all their lives, but imali yabo lokho ingakagcwali isibaya. Kumele kusetshenzwe wethu.
Are you seeking fame and fortune?
I do not seek fame and fortune. These come through hard work. So let them come if I am a hard worker, but you cannot spend all your life chasing after fame and fortune.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?
Access to my work. This has been one of my weakest links, lots of people say it is difficult to access my work. Well, through the internet, it should be possible. In shops, give me 5 more months, they will access all my CDs and DVD as well as my new poetry book, Echoes from Zimbabwe.
Gqindi or Mzwakhe who do you prefer?
Both are my friend and I like their work. They are different and not comparable.
Are we going to see any duets with uMajaivana or that was the first and last?
Duet with Majie - well it is still possible, but he is away in the USA If I happen to pass through the US in my journeys, it's possible something may come out, but it is most likely to be gospen as umzukulu is now a mfundisi, somehow.
"Nxa singazenzeli akula ozasenzela"
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