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Nhava by Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi represents all that is right in Zimbabwe. In all honestly I had no idea what he and his group, The Black Spirits were saying as I do not understand the language but once I listened to the album again and read the liner notes from each song, I understood with my own minded pictures and thoughts.

The album is called ‘Nhava’ which is the Zimbabwean word for ‘carrying bag’. The album like a carrying bag does contain an assortment of items (rhythms, harmonies) commonplace to some and newly discovered for others like finding that twenty dollar bill you had searched for the other day. Most of the songs are about guidance, the environment, struggle and redemption through taking from the traditional styles of mbira and the South African mbaqanga and incorporating the popular style of Zimbabwean music, jiti.

Track six on the album is called ‘Hope’ and even though one may not understand the lyrics you can feel ‘hope’ that this brings, a fresh start, a cleansing for a new day. Overall this is a good album. The Black Spirits provide us with good rhythms and harmonies and a rock guitar solo too! Oliver Mtukudzi through his career issues about two albums a year for the past 30 years and if you had to buy one of them, get this one.... Its about hope and redemption no matter what you have on your plate or in your nhava.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Oliver Mtukudzi
  • CD Title: Nhava
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Heads Up
  • Tracks: Ninipa, Izere Mhepo, Pindirai, Menzva Kudzimba, Hazvireve, Hope, Tiregereiwo, Handiro Dambudziko, Tiri Mubindu, Dzokai, Torzeza, Dzidziso.
  • Musicians: Oliver Mtukudzi (acoustic, lead vocals), Clive Mukundu (electric guitar), Philani Dube (electric guitar) Never Mpofu (bass), Clive Mutyasira (drums), Jairos Hambahamba (drums), Kenny Neshamba (percussion, vocals), Eric Kasamba (vocals, percussion), Mary Bell (vocals), Namatayi Murbariki (vocals), Sam Mtukudzi (arrangements).
  • Rating: Three Stars
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