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Zimbabwean boy revels in Soul Brothers music

by Lovemore Dube
26 Jul 2014 at 14:21hrs | Views
Donald Shumba (second from left) with David Masondo the Soul Brothers lead singer and founder flanked by Zone 14 actors Spinachi (left) and Popayi.
BORN in Makokoba, Bulawayo, Soul Brothers drummer, Donald Kudzanayi Shumba joined the legendary group by chance.

He is celebrating four years with one of Southern Africa's best known music groups.

"I was on vacation four years ago in South Africa. I really did not have in mind going there for a job but when I heard that the Soul Brothers were auditioning, I went there. Surprisingly, I impressed and was on stage that very same weekend playing with the group I had heard so much about. I never came back home and I look forward to visiting for a few days in September," said Shumba.

Born on August 9, 1989 at the height of bubblegum music from South Africa, when he was still learning to walk the kwaito bug took over and for his age it is surprising how he defied his age mates' musical tastes and stuck to Umculo wabadala. Most young men his age are chided for playing old stuff.

"Growing up in Bulawayo, Soul Brothers music was big. It was played in almost every other house in Makokoba, not just at Christmas but every other day.

"Soul Brothers back home appeared to be a way of life for some. People played the music when they were celebrating and turned to it to soothe their hearts when they were down. Growing up in Bulawayo one way or the other things like Highlanders and Soul Brothers are every day life and talk," said Shumba.

The Makokoba drumming sensation who is now rubbing shoulders with music legends David Masondo, Moses Ngwenya, Maxwell Mngandi and Sicelo Ndlela at the Soul Bothers, grew up blown by the music of Neo Soul, Oliver Mtukudzi and liked Afro jazz, Rhythm and Blues, soft rock and gospel.

By the age of eight Shumba was already involved in music at the Family of God in Bulawayo and in his early teens was a member of a band playing at Bulawayo clubs.

"I got into music when a church mate joined another group and I was left to fill his post at Overdrive Band in 2003," he said.

Shumba paid tribute to a number of people for standing out as an inspiration in his musical career.

"The likes of former Southern Freeway guitarist Handsome Mabhiza, Jomo Mhone from Providence Film and Sound, Cool Crooners and Siyaya's Saimon Mambazo inspired me to be the artiste I am. I always dream big and to grow within the industry like some of them and ubaba uDavid and Moses have done with Soul Brothers," Shumba said.

The former Lotshe Primary School and Mzilikazi High School pupil, said he has enjoyed his four years with the group. Shumba has done four albums with Impumelelo formerly Imitshotshovu, the Soul Brothers Brass Band and the Soul Brothers.

"I have done Vika with the Soul Brothers and Ngeke Ngilahle Ithemba is my best song. I also did albums with Impumelelo – Inhlonipho and Isiporoporo. I have won three awards so far which are two South African Music Awards (Sama) and one South African Traditional Music Awards (Satmas) with Impumelelo and the Soul Brothers," he said proudly.

In his four years with the group Shumba has travelled all over South Africa, Swaziland and a number of shows are lined up abroad this year. He said he was enjoying every moment with the ever popular group which, after 38 years in the business, is still playing to packed venues.

On Wednesday they played to a full house at the Vaal.

Of Mbaqanga music popularised by the Soul Brothers he said: "Our music touches on every day people's lives. It is for that reason why the music is still so popular and the group is growing strong with its appeal cutting across the young and old.

"It cuts even across ethnic backgrounds as the beat is appealing, well worked on before it's produced for the masses. The compositions are done with passion; everyone of us enjoys Soul Brothers music and when we deliver it to the fans we do it in a way that they should find attractive."

On the music played at shows, Shumba said Ngwenya and Masondo the founding members of the group, come up with the list with other members' input also taken aboard.

Shumba who usually shares a seat or room with bandmate Almotie Mthombeni said he was received well by the group when he joined.

"I was well received when I joined the group, everyone took me on board as a brother," he said.

Shumba said nothing would beat him playing before his Bulawayo crowd.

"I can't wait for us to come to Zimbabwe and I play before my home crowd in Bulawayo. I hope something comes up soon. I am enjoying the music and group discipline has seen me growing to like every second of my stint with Ogandaganda," said Shumba.

In Zimbabwe Shumba played for Overdrive, Say Band, Echo Fusion, the late Beater Mangete, Jeys Marabini, Jazz Invitation, Cool Crooners and Black Face. In South Africa he has also thumped drums for  Jimmy Dludlu, One People late Lucky Dube's band and Fusion has shared the stage with greats like Hugh Masekela, Siphokazi, Gerald Upright, John Clegg, Black Smith Mambazo, Sfiso Ncwane, The Soil and Zakes Bantwini.

Shumba says among his best shows was sharing the stage for the first time with a band of home boys Charles Ndebele's Ndolwane Super Sounds in Giyani.

He said the Soul Brothers next projects would be a new album and a live DVD recording before the end of the year.

Source - chronicle

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