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Yesteryear songbirds who kept us going

07 Dec 2020 at 15:12hrs | Views
I wish life could be rewinded backwards anti-clockwise the days we used to gather together in our dining rooms playing music on our one deck radio cassette player listening to those great songbirds.

Fashion goes a long way back, stunning songbirds. Indeed greatest role models from South Africa namely Yvonne Chaka Chaka and the late Brenda Fassie.

They spiced the music industry to the beautiful continent from Cape of Good Hope to Cape Cairo. They really gave a good challenge to the international musical powerhouse and were in the class of Witney Houston, Tina Turner and Tracey Chapman just to mention a few.

People would dance to their music all night long with friends on a lazy Saturday night. Songs like My Motherland, Umqomboti, Vhuli Ndhlela, Let Him Go were very popular and received more airplay on most radio stations in Africa. They kept the mic hot and live.

Beautiful Yvonne Chaka Chaka's voice mesmerised the fans and kept them on their feet. She was  glowing on our black and white  television screens. Long live queen Yvonne and continue to rest in peace Brenda Fassie you were full of energy.

These two beautiful song birds , our own African sweet voices reverberated into our ears with powerful messages.

Their music were tools used in fighting the white minority (freedom) and they  are heroes of our time. During the apartheid regime most people were energenised by their music especially in black townships like Soweto, Beria and Hillbrow. People will never forget Brenda Fassie and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

Dubbed "The Princess of Africa", Chaka Chaka experienced a meteoric rise as a music star of infectious pop melodies and dance music during the height of apartheid.

I used to watch videos from Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Brenda Fassie on Zimbabwe Television way back on a programme called Ezomgido / Mvengemvenge.

Not only was their music played on TV but also played on the then Radio 1, Radio 2 especially on the programme Kwaziso/
where fans would request their favourite music tracts.

"Who is that man on my motherland was a political song. During that time South Africa was going through a difficult time of political instability where black people were facing abuse from the whites.

There was also a song by  Brenda Fassie -Black President which also carried political messages. Most of her songs where also used on weddings in Zimbabwe especially the one called -Its a wedding day.

She had her popular group, Brenda and the Big Dudes. Her first recording was made in 1983 with the hit single "Weekend Special", which became the fastest-selling record at the time.

The song enjoyed great international popularity, and Brenda and the Big Dudes toured to the United States, Britain, Europe, Australia and Brazil.

Throughout the decade Brenda also established herself as a great solo pop star. In the late 1980s, she began working with producer Sello "Chicco" Twala, a partnership that proved to be one of the most successful in the South African music business.


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Source - Leonard Koni
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