MUTARE based businessman and socialite-cum-musician Brian Samaita on Monday released his potential chart banging sixth album which reincarnates the music of the late sungura legends Leonard Dembo and Tongai ‘Dhewa’ Moyo, fused together.
The Eastern Igwee as he is affectionately called and his Murondatsimba Express band, this time took their time to cook a scorcher at Diamond Studios in Harare in the capable hands of veteran producer Bothwell ‘African’ Nyamhondera. Titled ‘Ndafunga Dembo’ the five track album has long-play tracks that all go beyond nine-minutes which relives the style of Dembo who was known for such long play tracks. He also roped in the late Dhewa’s former band members such as the talented bassist Spenser Khumulani and lead guitarist Evidence Tarabuku, fondly known as Baba Gari whose midus touch beyond doubt added magic to the album.
With five previous albums to his name, Nemiwo Munazvo, Murodzi Wepfungwa, Tsono, Kumaziva Ndadzoka and his last offing Rinoonekwa Nemavanga, Samaita who said he has been looking for his breakthrough album believes this sixth offing has what it takes to be dubbed his coming-out album.
Samaita, a long-time friend of the late Utakataka Express frontman, Dhewa, told EasternTimesZim Entertainment that this was his coming-out album and believes he has finally found his rhythm. It has tracks titled Handityi kufa, Herudhe which is a gospel track, Hombarume featuring veteran sungura sensation Somandla Ndebele, Kuromba and Samaita.
In the track ‘Handityi kufa’, he walks in the shadows of the late legendary wordsmith Dembo who was known for his social commentary songs like ‘Nzungu Ndamenya’ that touched on everyday reality social issues. In this track Samaita talks about the importance of valuing family during one’s lifetime. So he will be asking for blessings from God to work hard for his family to leave behind a touchable legacy for it before his death.
Samaita, who is now a born again Christian, thanks to his redemption some years back at the hands of South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri, expressed happiness over the response the album has received since its release. In the gospel track Herudhe, he fuses sungura with a rhythmic upbeat reggae tune and delves on the biblical story of how King Herod wanted to deceitfully kill Jesus Christ shortly after his birth. He said the inspiration behind the song is that he wants people to know that it’s not all those who smile at you that love you.
The track Hombarume that features Ndebele of the ‘Kuda KwaMwari’ (Moyo wokurera) hit song that he featured the late Dhewa, is an up-tempo track that is a potential chart buster just like how the collaboration song Kuda KwaMwari worked out for Somandla in his debut album. The track talks about how people are given different talents in life but sometimes fail to make use of their talents and blame others. It teaches people to appreciate what they have and make use of their God given talents.
In Kuromba, he talks about how people are using wealth enhancing talismans to accumulate wealth instead of putting more effort to work hard and deservedly accrue their wealth. In this track you really feel the touch of Dhewa’s instrumentalists who featured on the album as the lead guitar will take you down memory lane to the music of Dembo.
For those that loved the late Dhewa’s interlude song ‘Samanyemba’ where he celebrated his totem, the Eastern Igwee tributes his own totem in the jit rhythm track Samaita (Mbizi). It’s a dance along track that will definitely get your feet reflexively tapping to the beat.
Samaita said he is now working on promoting the album on radio and through public shows. “I worked hard to come up with this project and it is encouraging that my fans and others that previously doubted me are applauding this album and recognising my efforts. My publicity team Kartel Promotions is working extra hard to make sure that copies of the new album reach every corner of the country. I will soon embark on a tour across the country to market the new project,” said the Eastern Igwee.
The tribute album was dedicated to the late Dembo and Dhewa who was his mentor. He said sungura was fading into oblivion because the current crop of musicians lacked creativity and innovation. The Murondatsimba Express frontman, who described Dembo and Dhewa as rare breed of sungura musicians whose music has stood the test of time, said he is hoping this album will invigorate the music of the two late legends.
The late Dembo who rose to fame with tracks such as Ruva Rashe (1989), Kukura Hakutani (1990), Chitekete (1991), Nzungu Ndamenya (1994), Shiri Yakangwara (1996) and Zii Zii to mention a few, was a talented musician, songwriter and a guitarist. He died on April 9, 1996 at the age of 37. Dhewa on the other hand, the Murovi Mukuru hit maker died aged 43 on October 15, 2011 after a long battle with cancer.