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Tuku makes history with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

by Arts reporter
20 Jun 2014 at 12:56hrs | Views
Oliver Mtukudzi and Joseph Shabalala, founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, first met as young men in 1978 and have admired each other's music since then.  Last week they were in studio in Durban making magic as they recorded their first ever collaboration.

Earlier on they had decided to do a rendition of Tuku's internationally famous 'Neria' together.

Tuku explained the significance of the song. "When I first wrote the song in 1990 the issue of women having to struggle with relatives trying to possess their property after the death of a husband was pertinent in Zimbabwe.  Today, over twenty years later, women still struggle with the same issue.

"Yes, definitely, people must write wills, but out of respect relatives must support widows, rather than fight for their possessions," says Tuku.

"What we've found is that even in South Africa and elsewhere around Africa, women have similar problems so the song resonated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo as well."

Tuku's studio date with the four-time grammy winners is part of his next big 'Tuku and Friends' project, 'Abi'angu II'.  This follows his first duets album, 'Abi'angu',  released in 2011.

'Abi'angu II' will also feature Hugh Masekela, Salif Keita, Kunle Ayo, Alick Macheso, Ammara Brown and Gary Tight. Just two weeks ago Tuku was in the studio in Johannesburg recording with Ayo.

The word 'abi'angu' is from the Kore Kore dialect of the Shona language and means 'my friends.'

"We have performed together at many events and festivals," said Tuku to Shabalala during a break in their recording, "but that wasn't it. I wanted to do something with you and finally it has happened."

Shabalala, who is currently not performing made a special effort to come and be a part of the 'Neria' recording, said he was moved to be able to record with Tuku, "I love this type of music," he said, pausing to sings  few lines of 'Neria', before continuing, "Whoa, it's touching man."

Both Shabalala and Mtukudzi share the values of peace and unity. In 2008, Shabalala, in a statement said, "Ladysmith Black Mambazo must continue as the message of Peace, Love and Harmony never must be silenced."

In August this year Ladysmith Black Mambazo travel to Harare for the first live performance of their version of 'Neria' with Mtukudzi. The music will move people and touch hearts, but it is the message that they hope will echo louder and longer.

Source - Exist Digital