Feb 4, 2014

RhoDeo 1405 Roots


Zimbabwe was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia (1923), Rhodesia (1965), and Zimbabwe Rhodesia (1979). The first recorded use of "Zimbabwe" as a term of national reference was in 1960, when it was coined by the black nationalist Michael Mawema, whose Zimbabwe National Party became the first to officially use the name in 1961. The name "Zimbabwe" is based on a Shona term for Great Zimbabwe, an ancient ruined city in the country's south-east whose remains are now a protected site. There are two theories on the origin of the word. Various sources hold that the word is derived from dzimba-dza-mabwe, translated from the Karanga dialect of Shona as "large houses of stone" (dzimba = plural of imba, "house"; mabwe = plural of bwe, "stone").

The Kingdom of Mapungubwe was the first in a series of sophisticated trade states developed in Zimbabwe by the time of the first European explorers from Portugal. They traded in gold, ivory and copper for cloth and glass. From about 1300 until 1600, Mapungubwe was eclipsed by the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. This Shona state further refined and expanded upon Mapungubwe's stone architecture, which survives to this day at the ruins of the kingdom's capital of Great Zimbabwe. From c. 1450–1760, Zimbabwe gave way to the Kingdom of Mutapa. This Shona state ruled much of the area that is known as Zimbabwe today, and parts of central Mozambique.

As a direct response to increased European presence in the interior, a new Shona state emerged, known as the Rozwi Empire. Relying on centuries of military, political and religious development, the Rozwi (meaning "destroyers") expelled the Portuguese from the Zimbabwean plateau by force of arms. Around 1821, the Zulu general Mzilikazi of the Khumalo clan successfully rebelled against King Shaka and created his own clan, the Ndebele. The Ndebele fought their way northwards into the Transvaal, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and beginning an era of widespread devastation known as the Mfecane. By 1838, the Rozwi Empire, along with the other petty Shona states were conquered by the Ndebele and reduced to vassaldom.

After losing their remaining South African lands in 1840, Mzilikazi and his tribe permanently settled the southwest of present-day Zimbabwe in what became known as Matabeleland, establishing Bulawayo as their capital. Mzilikazi then organised his society into a military system with regimental kraals, similar to those of Shaka, which was stable enough to repel further Boer incursions. Mzilikazi died in 1868 and, following a violent power struggle, was succeeded by his son, Lobengula.

In the 1880s, civilized theft arrived with Cecil Rhodes's British South Africa Company. In 1888, Rhodes obtained a concession for mining rights from King Lobengula of the Ndebele peoples. He presented this concession to persuade the government of the United Kingdom to grant a royal charter to the company over Matabeleland, and its subject states such as Mashonaland as well. Rhodes used this royal charter in 1890 to justify sending the Pioneer Column, a group of Europeans protected by well-armed British South Africa Police (BSAP) through Matabeleland and into Shona territory to establish Fort Salisbury (now Harare), and thereby establish company rule over the area. In 1893 and 1894, with the help of their new Maxim guns, the BSAP would go on to defeat the Ndebele in the First Matabele War. Rhodes additionally sought permission to negotiate similar concessions covering all territory between the Limpopo River and Lake Tanganyika, then known as "Zambesia".

In accordance with the terms of aforementioned concessions and treaties, mass settlement was encouraged, with the British maintaining control over labour as well as precious metals and other mineral resources. In 1895 the BSAC adopted the name "Rhodesia" for the territory, in honour of Rhodes. In 1898 "Southern Rhodesia" became the official denotation for the region south of the Zambezi, which later became Zimbabwe. The region to the north was administered separately and later termed Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).  Several revolts followed but Rhodes backed by machineguns managed to strike down the uprisings. And for the next 80 years whites ruled and extracted lots of value from the land (above and below). Then in 1980 a black dictator had himself 'elected' he's still sitting on his throne unable to grasp what he was supposed to do....

After this short history lesson time for some music  ....N'joy

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Originally recorded in the 1970s and making its first appearance on CD in 1995, this Nonesuch compilation of Zimbabwean mbira music (or, as it is known elsewhere, the 'Kalimba' or 'African Thumb Piano') is a revelatory little volume, covering the various styles and uses of the instrument. Soul of Mbira music CDs Compilation producer Paul Berliner writes extensive liner notes not only on the music and the players, but on the songs themselves. These are field recordings of the highest order to be sure, but as music they are simply gorgeous. While the mbira is plainly a percussion instrument, depending on its size and whether it has one, two, or even three sets of keys, it is also a melody and harmony instrument. The sound is wonderfully warm and full despite the conditions some of this music was recorded under, and these performances do not sound out of time and space, but wonderfully within a still living and thriving tradition of folk and popular music

Zimbabwe - The Soul of Mbira   (flac  259mb)

01 Nhemamusasa (Hakurotwi Mude) 7:04
02 Taireva (Erick and Mondrek Muchena) 4:05
03 Nyamaropa (Ephraim Mutemasango) 6:23
04 Kuyadya Hove Kune Mazove (Joseph Katvayire, Mrs. Fatsika) 4:28
05 Mbiriviri (Simon Mashoko) (Gweniyambira) 5:57
06 Nhimutimu (John Kunaka) (Maridzambira) 4:04
07 Nyamaropa YeVana Vave Mushonga (Muchatera Mujuru) 5:04
08 Dangurangu  (Mubayiwa Bandambira) 4:25
09 Kumakudo (Simon Mashoko) 3:08

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Thomas Mapfumo was born in Marondera, Rhodesia (what is now Zimbabwe) on July 2, 1945. He is of the Shona people, and grew up in a fairly traditional Shona farming community. He began his musical career playing covers of American rock and soul music before joining Hallelujah Chicken Run Band, where he began adapting traditional music of the Shona to modern instrumentation and techniques. This process included transcribing the scales and sounds of the mbira to electric guitar.

The deeply evocative and mesmerizing Chimurenga sound of Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited played an important part of the Zimbabwean revolutionary struggle for independence in the 1970s. The interlacing melodic polyrhythmic counterpoints in “Tongosienda” which feature the mbira, electric guitar and voice is nothing short of stunning. This is special considering that Shona, the language in which all of the album is sung, is not widely spoken outside of Zimbabwe. Another track “Madiro”, which in Shona refers to the freedom to do and to be without fear or constraint, is so rich and full of musical gems, that it is practically begging to be re-versioned. It is the kind of song that had it been created in the hyper economical musical environment of 1970s Jamaica, its riddims would be classics.

In the late 1970s, Thomas Mapfumo released a record called "Hokoyo!", which means "Look Out!" in Shona, which had very politically charged lyrics. The Rhodesian government threw him into prison in 1979, and banned his song from the radio. Naturally, the song became even more of a hit, and eventually large demonstrations were held, demanding his release. Mapfumo's imprisonment and the uproar it caused among the Shona majority were major links in the chain that ultimately led to free elections in 1980.

Thomas Mapfumo and his band, Blacks Unlimited, provided the soundtrack of rebellion in Zimbabwe. His records and concerts helped fuel the fire and kept the spirit alive, and his chimurenga ("struggle") music -- rooted in Shona tradition, but still sounding thoroughly modern -- packed an emotional punch -- enough to get him jailed for three months by the colonial authorities. After independence in 1980, Mapfumo's songs were in praise of the new leaders (although that would change later in the decade). This collection of his Zimbabwe singles comes from a prolific and emotional period when the music most definitely did matter in a very vital way. While his sound was based on the mbira, or thumb piano, Mapfumo used guitars to imitate the repetitive parts during this period, to good, even startling, effect. The lyrics, especially on the earlier songs, are made up of Shona deep proverbs, which would make no sense to white authorities, but which the rebels understood all too well. Also listen for the cock-a-doodle.

In the 1980 elections, Robert Mugabe was elected Prime Minister, and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. Initially, Thomas Mapfumo was supportive of the new Shona leadership, but over the next decade, became increasingly disillusioned, as many of Mugabe's exclusionary policies were as damaging to the Shona people as the white government's had been. When Thomas Mapfumo began to actively sing about the issues with Mugabe's government in the late 1980s, he quickly became the target of numerous bogus government investigations. Ultimately, the constant harassment proved too difficult, and Mapfumo emigrated to the United States. He continues to sing and speak about the issues with Zimbabwe's government, and remains a cultural hero and icon in Zimbabwe.

Thomas Mapfumo - Singles 1977-86   (flac  453mb)

01 Pidigori 4:03
02 Ngoma Yekwedu 5:02
03 Pemberai 4:48
04 Nyamutamba Nemombe 4:53
05 Zeve Zeve 3:17
06 Pachinyakare 7:27
07 Taireva 4:40
08 Haruna 4:31
09 Tombi Wachena 3:20
10 Kuyaura 4:05
11 Madhebhura 3:53
12 Ruva Rangu 3:44
13 Dangurangu 6:27
14 Madiro 5:01
15 Tongosienda 4:59
16 Makandiwa 3:56

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Chiwoniso Maraire (5 March 1976 – 24 July 2013) was a Zimbabwean singer, songwriter, and exponent of Zimbabwean mbira music. She was the daughter of Zimbabwean mbira Master and teacher Dumisani Maraire (and former officer in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Sports and Culture in the early 1980s). Describing the mbira, an instrument traditionally used by male musicians, she said, "[it] is like a large xylophone. It is everywhere in Africa under different names: sanza, kalimba, etc. For us in Zimbabwe it is the name for many string instruments. There are many kinds of mbiras. The one that I play is called the nyunga nyunga, which means sparkle-sparkle."

Chiwoniso was born in Olympia, Washington, U.S. on March 5, 1976, the eldest in what would grow to be a family of five. Her late father Dr. Dumisani Maraire taught marimba and mbira in America between 1972 and 1990, while Linda, her late mother, was a soulful singer, dancer and traditional drummer. In 1990, when she was age 15, Chiwoniso’s family relocated back to Zimbabwe, where she went on to enroll as a student at Mutare Girls High School before joining her first musical group, A Peace Of Ebony. P.O.E, whose members came from Zimbabwean, German, American, Russian and Malawian ethnic backgrounds, were a group which redefined the essence of international African rap. Composing their lyrics in English, Shona and French, they used the sounds of the mbira and marimba as the core of most of their revolutionary recordings.

Barely three short years later Peace of Ebony was recognized by Alliance Française Harare, and as a result entered the Radio France International contest, “Les Découvertes”, in 1994. The group won the ‘Best New Group out of Southern Africa’ award and were invited to perform in Madagascar, where they were offered a recording contract by the French-based company LusAfrica Sarl.

In 1995, Keith Farquharson, who had worked with Chiwoniso on the Peace of Ebony project, introduced her to a Zimbabwean guitarist by the name of Andy Brown. They recorded the album ‘Let The Children Play’, after which Andy Brown returned to South Africa, where he was working from. Four months later Andy came back to Zimbabwe and asked Chiwoniso to join his group, The Storm, and she accepted. 1999 saw Chiwoniso leading the Storm at the MASA festival in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where she won the UNESCO Price for Arts. In the same year, she was one of the nominees for the KORA Best Female Vocals of Africa Awards.

Chiwoniso fronted her acoustic group Chiwoniso & Vibe Culture for several years. Her first album, Ancient Voices, was released to international acclaim in 1995 and she went on to record three more albums:Timeless (2004), Hupenyu Kumusha, Life at Home, Impilo Ekhaya. The Collaboration: Volume 1 (2006), and Rebel Woman (2008). From 2001 to 2004, she was also a core member of the multinational all-women band Women's Voice, whose original members hailed from Norway, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, America, Israel and Algeria.[5] Chiwoniso also starred in film, having worked on the soundtracks for movies and documentaries by an array of Zimbabwean writers and film producers in the last ten years.

Maraire died on 24 July 2013 at South Medical Hospital in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, aged 37. According to her manager Cosmas Zamangwe, she had been admitted to hospital 10 days earlier suffering from chest pains. The cause of death was the result of suspected pneumonia, just a year after the death of her ex-husband, Andy Brown, also a prominent musician. The couple leave two daughters, Chengeto and Chiedza. She was buried at her rural home in Chakohwa village in Mutambara

Chiwoniso - Rebel Woman (flac  336mb)

01 Vanorapa 4:05
02 Matsotsi 5:05
03 Gomo 4:26
04 Nguva Ye Kufara 4:38
05 Kurima 5:30
06 Listen To The Breeze 3:49
07 Wakashinga 4:15
08 Irobukairo 4:36
09 Pamuromo 2:42
10 Nerudo 4:22
11 Only One World 4:20
12 Rebel Woman 4:31

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Anonymous said...

Hello Rho!
Would you please re-up the following:

Zimbabwe - The Soul of Mbira (flac 259mb)
Thomas Mapfumo - Singles 1977-86 (flac 453mb)
Chiwoniso - Rebel Woman (flac 336mb)

Thankyou in advance

Anonymous said...


- blankblank

Anonymous said...

Hello Rho!

The link works now. Thank you

best regards / Thomas

Anonymous said...

oops.. still possible to get this rho? thanks!
Zimbabwe - The Soul of Mbira (flac 259mb)
Sorry, the file you requested is not available.
Possible reasons include:
- File date limit has expired.
- File was not successfully uploaded.
It is not possible to restore the file. Please contact the uploader and ask them to upload the file again.

Rho said...

Well this is odd as i just uploaded this last month, clearly Sendspace is eager to delete, in this case i just re-uploaded this for you. i wont post it under re-ups. N'joy

Anonymous said...

Well, this is disappointing, guess I should've checked back for an update from you sooner Rho,
looks like the folks at depositfiles zapped your file... again.

This file does not exist, the access to the following file is limited
or it has been removed due to infringement of copyright.

In any case, just wanted to say I am grateful to you for your seemingly endless generosity
sharing your eXcess with everyone in your blog.

Anonymous said...

I would really really really appreciate a re-up of the soul of mbira if at all possible!! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Finally got The Soul of Mbira, Traditions of the Shona People.
Thank you for reupping Rho!

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance at all you could re-up these mbira classics again... I only have the mp3's and would dearly love a lossless version :) Thanks in advance if it happens!!!

Zimbabwe - The Soul of Mbira
Thomas Mapfumo - Singles 1977-86

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you sooooo much :)